"That $98 million isnt complete," Bechtel said. "We dont know if we will have to replace fire hydrants, for example, or when we would have to replace or put major funds into the sewer treatment plant. ... If I had a crystal ball, that would be great."

Bonding options to raise the funds included 20 and 40 year options at 1.86 percent and 4 percent interest. It was estimated if bonds were issued for the entire amount for 20 years at 1.86 percent interest, that would mean a 100 percent increase in rates to cover the debt; at 40 years it would mean a 60 percent increase in rates; at 20 years and 4 percent interest, it would be a 120 percent increase in rates; and 40 years at 4 percent interest it would be an 85 percent increase in rates.

"This would not include raises for maintenance of the system," Bechtel added.

"I think its impractical to see this kind of increase immediately," said Councilman Jeff May. "I think this is something that can be done with a more reasonable plan over time. We cant accomplish all this at once anyway. ... (The city) failed to invest money in the system over the past 20 years, so you cant catch up all at once."

Bechtel presented additional financing plans which included a $10 per month meter charge, a $15 per month meter charge, a $20 per month meter charge, a 7.5 percent annual rate increase and a 5 percent rate increase plus a $10 per month meter fee.

Under terms of the 5 percent increase and the $10 per month meter fee, residents who pay the minimum of $22 per month for water and sewer would see the amount increase by $33.38 the first year; by $34.55 the second year; By $35.78 the third year going to an additional $46.27 in 10 years.

Under the terms of a 7 percent increase and the $10 per month meter fee, residents who pay the minimum $22 per month water and sewer bill would see an increase of $23.94 per month the first year; $25.74 per month the second year; $27.67 the third year; and by 10 years see an increase of $45.90 per month.

Piper asked about the last years proposal from American Water to purchase the system and asked what the company had offered -- which was to put $3 million a year in improvements into the system for 10 years and to pay the city $33 to $40 million.

"The amount they were going to put into the system is the same as the funds we would raise between the 5 percent rate increase and the $10 fee and the 7.5 percent increase and the $10 fee," Bechtel clarified.

"With just the $10 meter fee plus the 5 percent increase, ... the revenue created the first year would be enough for a $20 million bond," May added. "What is left would pay for additional bonding. ... We could do a lot of this the first five years."

The Council has asked for more definitive numbers on bonding and loan rates, as well as a priority list from the water and sewer departments.



The Federal Election Commission, the federal agency charged with overseeing US elections and yet paralyzed by partisanship, will host a first-of-its-kind public forum Thursday on the threat posed by foreign-influenced corporations that spend on American elections. The meeting comes less than one month after the kingdom of Saudi Arabia announced it would make a $3.5 billion investment in Uber, the US-based ride-hailing service and ubiquitous election spender. Now, as the specter of foreign influence comes to haunt even our local elections, the government entity with the most to do at a time when its power is declining has put the issue squarely before the public-policymaking consciousness.

Americas Founders were rightly worried about foreign powers influencing our democracy. The Constitution bans anyone who holds any office of profit or trust from accepting any foreign present, emolument, office, or title . . . without the consent of the Congress. Current federal law upheld by the Supreme Court as recently as 2012 prohibits foreign governments, foreign-based companies, and people who are not US citizens or permanent residents from contributing or spending money in connection with any federal, state, or local election. But theres a loophole: These foreign entities can invest money through US-based corporations that, per the Citizens United ruling, can then spend as much of that money as they want on American elections.

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According to the American Psychological Association (APA), each year Americans list money, work and the economy as among their highest sources of stress. The APA list also includes several other stressors that have financial implications, including health care, family concerns and housing costs. The Partnership for Mental Health in America lists four main causes of financial stress: significant life events (eg, major medical expenses), low financial literacy (eg, ability to manage/save/invest money), psychological causes (eg, impulsive spending) and income stagnation (eg, in inflation-adjusted wages).

As a professor of industrial-organizational psychology at Clemson University since 2008, my research focuses on personal and organizational factors that contribute to occupational health, employee resilience and retention. I am a founding member and past president of the Society for Occupational Health Psychology and a fellow of the American Psychological Association and the Society for Industrial-Organizational Psychology.



*Note on our price chart: Before we dive into the WTI technical analysis, we have decided to use the WTI continuous futures price as a chart instead of the original spot price posted in our article. This price will match the nearest dated WTI Crude futures contract which will switch automatically once the contract settles, moving on to track the next nearest dated futures contract. We will also be only analyzing the technical aspect of the WTI price, given the fundamental aspect of WTI oil is well covered by many subject matter experts in the energy commodities section. At this time, the nearest dated futures contract being tracked by the above price chart is the July 2016 contract.

WTI oil prices fell into the end of the week despite stronger than expected inventory draw downs on Brexit fears and an increase in the Baker Hughes rig count suggesting levels above $50 are leading some drillers to restart idle rigs. It is important to note that WTI oil has now traded out of the technical channel to the downside, and is at risk of stronger decline taking hold to work off overbought conditions.

Trading strategy:

Given the short term oversold conditions in WTI oil, we expect a pullback for WTI oil in the early session next week to around $50.30 where short positions can be established to play a downside break of $48 which should then eventually lead to a downside test of $43 and $41 to work off overbought conditions, before resuming its current medium to longer term upside move.

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