City Commission Approves Bond Refinancing to Save Money

 In Featured News, General News, News

With commissioner Allen Reavis not in attendance, remaining City Commissioners voted unanimously to offer General Obligation (GO) Bonds to refinance existing debt during Monday’s regular meeting, which should result in saving the city about $700,000 over the life of the notes.

The $8.2 million in bonds will refinance an existing GO Bond issuance from 2014, three loans with KDHE for water and sewer infrastructure projects, and the temporary note for the Brookdale neighborhood expansion infrastructure build out that was originally sold in December 2020.

The bonds and KDHE loans will be wrapped into one set of GO Bonds, and each debt will still mature when the original debts were supposed to sunset. The temporary funds will be rolled into another temporary note, with a final GO Bond issuance necessary in the future when the infrastructure build out is complete and final costs are known later this year.

Based on the difference in interest rates when those original debts were issued and current GO Bond interest rates, the net savings would be $700,000 if current rates hold true. The bond sale offering is scheduled for Monday, June 7. After the bids are revealed, the commission will have to vote to accept the final bond sale at the regular commission meeting later that day.

In other commission action Monday, commissioners approved an ordinance that sets new curbside parking regulations at the intersection of Commercial and Ninth streets. There will be some spaces set aside for two-hour parking only during business hours, some set aside for resident parking for a possible future apartment building in the old Harwi Hardware facility at 832 Commercial St.

Commissioners also voted to rezone 822 and 824 Commercial Street properties from light industrial to B-4 (business), matching the neighboring properties in the area. Commissioners then approved the annual curb and sidewalk contract with Bottorff Construction, with work this year designed to improve the corridor of Main Street from 14th to 17th streets. This connects to work recently done along Main Street from 10th Street west to 14th Street.

Commissioners also heard presentations from the Atchison Art Association on a possible sculpture garden in the 400 block of Commercial Street, one from Jeff Schuele of Live Well Live Atchison, and approved the consent agenda, which included an occupational license for Fox Theatre and up to $75,000 for legal expenses related the ongoing Sheriff Jack Laurie counterclaim litigation.

After the meeting commissioners adjourned to a workshop to discuss the City/County Interlocal Agreement regarding the 1-cent countywide sales tax for solid waste and joint communications.

The next regular city commission meeting is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. on Monday, May 17, in the commission room.