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Whiteville to commit to financing automated meter system, new fire truck

By Allen Turner, The News Reporter

Whiteville City Council, meeting in regular session Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. in City Hall, is expected to approve finance agreements for a new water meter reading system and a new fire truck, accept a grant from Duke Energy and approve a policy for a program under which downtown business owners can receive city grants for renovating their storefronts.

The city is expected to finance its new $600,000 FlexNet water meter reading system for six years at an interest rate of 2.04 percent from BB&T. The system will allow the reading of meters via telemetry, instead of meters having to be manually read by employees.

Approval also is expected of financing a new $650,000 fire truck through First Bank for 15 years at an interest rate of 2.15 percent.

The BB&T bid for the FlexNet financing and First Bank’s bid for financing of the fire truck were the lowest sealed bids received for the financing projects.

Council is expected to accept a $120,000 grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency for replacement of the fire department’s aging self-contained breathing apparatus units. A five percent local match of $6,000 will be required.

John Elliott of Duke Energy will be on hand to present the city a check for $49,600 for first responder items including communications and water rescue equipment. The funds come from a Duke Foundation grant and require no local match.

Council also will consider implementing policy for the already-budgeted Business Improvement Grant Program, through which the city will grant up to $2,000 each in economic incentives for downtown property owners to renovate storefronts. Any grants awarded must be matched in renovation expenditures by the receiving businesses.

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Stuart Rogers