By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor
The village of Mount Sterling plans to buy 8.2 acres next to its sewer plant. The Madison County commissioners are going to finance the purchase.
Mount Sterling is in the midst of a $6.2 million project that will equip the village sewer plant to process sludge into compost. More land is needed to install a driveway to give semi-trucks access to the plant. The additional acreage also will allow for future expansion of the plant.
George and Michelle Lohstroh own the 8.2-acre parcel that sits adjacent to the south side of the plant on South London Street. Village officials have negotiated a deal to purchase the land from the Lohstrohs for $80,000.
In the last couple of years, the county commissioners have financed projects for the city of London and Deercreek Township. On Sept. 9, the commissioners told Mount Sterling Mayor Charlie Neff and village Manager Joe Johnson they would do the same for the sewer plant land purchase.
The length of the loan likely will be five years. The interest rate is yet to be determined. Initially, Madison County Treasurer Donna Landis said Neff and Johnson needed to secure bids for interest rates from three banks to give the county a basis for setting its rate. However, when Johnson said the Lohstrohs offered to finance the purchase for 4.5 percent, Landis said that was enough information to go on, and that the county could beat that rate.
The village of Mount Sterling plans to borrow a total of $100,000 from the county—$80,000 for the land purchase and $20,000 to refurbish a building at the sewer plant to better accommodate related equipment and potentially serve as storage for Mount Sterling Public Library’s new bookmobile.
Commissioner David Dhume praised the Lohstrohs for offering the village a fair price for the land.
Commissioner Paul Gross commended Mount Sterling officials for making a deal that is “smart business” for the village’s future planning. He also said the loan agreement is good for all county residents because it brings money in for county services and keeps government project costs low.
“One hundred percent of the benefit falls into the pockets of the local taxpayers,” Gross said.