CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- St. Albans City Council passed the first reading of an ordinance Monday to refinance utility bonds that could save the city $167,000 or more, Mayor Dick Callaway said. He called the projected savings on water upgrades a "conservative estimate," and said the city has already saved money from previous improvements.A $2.5 million equipment upgrade to the water plant on B Street was the first phase of the upgrades. The second was an $8 million replacement of the oldest, most critical water lines throughout the city.After phase two, the city saved $600,000 toward the third phase, which includes the replacement of water lines on Pennsylvania Avenue and then the road being resurfaced.With the refinancing, city officials expect to cut the interest rates on the utility bonds from 8 percent to 4 percent, Callaway said.
Council members would not ultimately approve the refinancing unless it passes a second and third reading. A public hearing would be held immediately before the refinancing is considered on third reading. Also, Callaway expects no increase in water and sewer rates for St. Albans customers.Also Monday:* City residents can participate in two citywide yard sales on May 11 and again on Sept. 7. Both are Saturdays. Residents will not have to pay a fee or get a permit to host a yard sale on those days, Callaway said.* Callaway said early voting for the St. Albans city election will be held Tuesday and Wednesday at city hall from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The election is Saturday.