October 1, 2014

Council restructures existing sewer debt

Danedri Thompson
dthompson@gardnernews.com
City council members, city staff and guests moved quickly through the council agenda on April 2 hoping to make it home in time to watch the University of Kansas men’s basketball team play in the national championship game.
“I’m going to be faster than Tyshawn Taylor can do a fast break,” Tom Kaleko, a bonding consultant for the city told council members.
The Jayhawks weren’t successful in their quest for the national title, but city officials sprinted through the meeting approving a series of agenda items relating to bond and debt.
Kaleko explained to council members that the city needed to take on more debt in temporary notes than anticipated for sewer upgrades related to the school bond issue. Initially, city officials hoped to let $6.2 million in temporary notes for the project, however due to a slightly higher than anticipated interest rate, the city authorized $7.4 million in temporary notes.
Kaleko said the increased cost was offset by a refinancing of general bonds that council also authorized on Monday night.
Council members adopted a resolution to refund and refinance $12.9 million of city debt. The refinancing of loans outstanding loans for the Kill Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant will result in savings of almost $1 million between now and 2021, Kaleko told the council.
Council member Larry Fotovich asked what city officials planned to do with the unexpected windfall.
“The windfall doesn’t really happen for three to four years,” city finance director Laura Gourley explained.
The additional funds will remain in the sewer fund and be used to maintain the city’s sewer needs.
In other business, the council:
• recognized April as Fair Housing Month, Child Abuse Prevention Month, Sexual Assault Prevention Month, and Autism Awareness Month.
• tabled consideration of a conditional use permit for Russell Oil & Gas Lease to allow oil and gas production near the intersection of 159th Street and Kill Creek Road.

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