BAXTER SPRINGS The Baxter Springs City Council is looking into refinancing of a Kansas Public Water Supply loan from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

John Haas, of Ransom Financial, told the council they could save as much as $209,000 on the nearly $1.8 million loan by refinancing while interest rates are at current lows. The interest rate on the loan as it exists is 4.16 percent.

The council moved to give KDHE 60 days notice that they would be paying off the loan early, and will be looking at setting a bond sale in October. The city can back out of the deal at anytime prior to the bond sale without penalty.

City Attorney Robert Myers reported to the council that three affidavits of prosecution for criminal defamation of character against Mayor Jenifer Bingham had been filed, and found to be without merit.

Myers said the allegations had been originally forwarded to the Kansas Attorney General's office which declined to prosecute, were then sent to Cherokee County Attorney John Bullard who likewise declined to prosecute. Several other attorneys were contacted but all declined prosecution saying the charges were without merit.

The affidavits had been filed in response to comments made by Bingham during the recent fight between the mayor and six city council members opposed to her attempts to appoint a new police chief and new city clerk in April.

The council also discussed parking on Military Ave.

Resident Steve Bolek, who is also a member of the economic development committee, asked the city what could be done about a lack of parking downtown.

The matter was referred to the streets committee for further study.