PATERSON, NJ - The city is looking to borrow $2.86 million to make repairs in its antiquated and aged sewer system.

That money represents just a drop in the bucket of the investment municipal officials say the sewer system needs - a complete overhaul that would cost as much as $500 million. That's roughly how much it would cost to convert the city's current system, which combines wastewater and storm water drainage, into two separate systems. But there seems little chance the city could afford that anytime soon.

In the meantime, the city has been spending several million dollar a year on repairs to try to prevent sewage back-ups and spills.

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The $2.86 million bond ordinance, which is scheduled to be voted on for the first time at the city council's March 22 meeting, would generate $2.7 million for repairs and a $143,000 down payment on the bonds. The New Jersey Department of Community Affairs then would have to approve the bonds, and if that happens the council could take its second and final vote on the plan in April.