Smyrna Town Council approved a resolution 6-0 Monday night to set a public hearing regarding the borrowing of money for utility upgrades to Commerce Street from Market Street to Route 13.

Councilman Anthony DeFeo was unable to attend the meeting.

The public hearing will be for the proposed borrowing of $1,156,275 from the Delaware Drinking Water State Revolving Loan Fund to fund the utility upgrades.

The resolution states that the town "has determined that the water mains, service lines, and related attachments on East and West Commerce Street in the town are so old and in such poor condition that they need to be replaced in order to preserve the public health, welfare, and safety."

The resolution also states that Town Council has "determined that it is in the town's best interest to borrow these funds upon such extremely favorable terms in order to complete this critical, but until now unfunded, replacement of the utilities on East and West Commerce Street."

Town Lawyer Terry Jaywork said the loan is a great move for the town: "You don't get money better than this."

Jaywork said the loan has a zero-percent interest and if the town finishes the project within a year, 86 percent of the loan is forgiven; the remaining portion of the loan will be repayable without interest over a 20-year period.

Town Manager Dave Hugg said the resolution for the public hearing is one of the items necessary to close on the loan. Hugg was asked by council if he was confident the town would be able to get the project done in a year in order to qualify for the loan forgiveness, Hugg said yes.

"We should go to bid early next year," Hugg said. "I'm more than confident we'll meet all the requirements."

The public hearing will be Monday, Jan. 7 at 7:15 p.m. at Smyrna Town Hall. Following the public hearing, council would need to pass a second resolution to proceed with the proposed borrowing.