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Ahoskie accepts USDA-RD grant offer

AHOSKIE – The Town of Ahoskie has secured a $50,000 grant from USDA-Rural Development to apply towards the purchase of a new piece of equipment.

Town officials have been locked in discussion for months to replace their aging grapple truck (a vehicle equipped with a hydraulic boom attached to a grapple or bucket that is used to collect and dump bulky waste).

At their scheduled meeting last week, members of the Ahoskie Town Council heard a presentation from Monica Thornton, Area Specialist with the USDA office in Winton, regarding a loan/grant package that would cover the cost of the new equipment.

The USDA’s Letter of Conditions cites the total purchase price of the vehicle – to include title, taxes, tags, UCC fees, and attorney fees – is $132,068.

To cover that cost, Thornton offered the town a loan in the amount of $82,000 and a grant not to exceed $50,000. The town will pick-up the remaining cost of $68.

The loan will be paid back over a period of 10 years at a 2.25 percent interest rate.

Thornton said the annual payment on the loan would be $9,249. There is no penalty should the town opt to pay off the loan early.

“If this grant/loan package is accepted, we will put the money aside in your name and then you submit your purchase order from the vendor from whom you are purchasing the vehicle,” Thornton explained. “When you have an ETA [estimated time of arrival] for the delivery of the vehicle, about three to four weeks out, then you coordinate that with me and we will schedule a loan closing. Once all the documents are signed and the vendor receives their money, then your first annual payment will be due one year from that date.”

Without objection, the Ahoskie Town Council accepted the Letter of Conditions and approved a resolution that opens the door for the town to receive the grant and take out the loan. It could be four-to-six months before the new grapple truck is in service.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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