XENIA VOTE: Debt Could Drop, Rates Won’t

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

The board of the Xenia Rural Water District is taking the next step in lowering it’s massive debt, but customers shouldn’t expect any rate-cuts.

Xenia customer Jack Cavanah is first to admit he pays way too much for water service. "Usually it's about 90-bucks a month." Cavanah says, "In the summertime it's a lot. It's a whole lot. We went from ten dollars a month in Johnston."

The reason Cavanah has such a big bill... the Xenia Rural Water District is drowning in debt, about $135-million worth, thanks to what the new board describes as some poor decisions made in the past.

Since then, Xenia has laid off 100 of its 130 employees and sold off equipment to reduce costs. Now, the board voted to accept an agreement to pay down debt to it's insurance company, paving the way for a USDA loan that should, in time, get Xenia back in the black.

"So total at the end of 40 years...39 years, there could be a savings of up to 22 million total." Water Board Chairman Dan Lovett explains,  for customers "It means their rates will not go up nearly as much as they would have if we didn't have it."

Lovett tells us he's confident the USDA will re-write the loan, dropping the interest by nearly two and a half percent.