Archive for Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Baldwin City to refinance last of its existing debt

Baldwin City Hall

Baldwin City Hall

June 17, 2014

The Baldwin City Council gave city staff the authority Monday to move forward with refinancing the last of city's existing bonded debt.

City Administrator Chris Lowe told the council that the city’s financial consultant, Tom Kaleko of Springsted Financial, estimated the refinancing of the remaining $5.5 million owed from a 2005 20-year $9.1 bond issue for electrical improvements would save the city $533,000 as it was retired in the next 10 years.

The 2005 bond financed the building of the city’s new electrical generating plant south of Orange Street and upgrades to the city substation and made other electrical system improvements.

Lowe said the market was so favorable he gave consideration to refinancing the debt last year when the refinanced bonds would have been taxable. He held off and rates are even better now, but he said the city needed to quickly move forward with the bond sale before conditions changed.

The refinancing will be the last of three the city has undertaken in recent years. In March 2013, the city refinanced $3.3 millions of existing sewer bonds and another $1 million of existing general obligation bonds. Kaleko estimated that saved the city $180,000. A year earlier, the city saved an estimated $120,000 when it refinanced the bond that built the water towers.

The council also approved the final re-plat of the XPS Addition request by Roger Johnson. City community development director Collin Bielser said the property was zoned commercial and was bounded by U.S. Highway 56 on the south, Eisenhower Street on the west, Washington Street on the east and Kibbee to the north.

Originally plotted in the early days of the city, there are now three parcels on the property. Bielser said the main purpose of the re-platting was to combine the three parcels into one through the elimination of a north-south alley and sewer easement through the center of the property. The sewer easement would be relocated to run along Eisenhower Street. That easement would be widened to serve a future 80-foot collector street.

In addition, an easement on the southwest corner of the property would be set aside for the future upgrade of the Eisenhower Street/U.S. 56 intersection, which was part of a Kansas Department of Transportation highway corridor study completed in 2010 with local input.

With that intersection upgrade not yet designed, there was no way to request the property owner set aside all the easement that could be needed, Lowe said.

“We got what we could,” he said.

In other business, the council:

• Was presented a report from Bielser on the city’s system development fees, or those fees charged on new development. Bielser found the $3,200 the city currently charges is less than most nearby cities and much less than the fastest-growing cities of Gardner or Olathe. That suggested the fees had little effect on development, he said. For the past three years, the city has cut its building permit fee and wastewater, water and park development fees in half in an attempt to stimulate building during the recession.

• Heard a report from Jannsen Bruse of the Kansas Municipal Energy Association on the services it provides and the city’s need as a Western Area Power Administration customer to complete integrated resource plan. The integrated resource plan is a forecast of energy needs with a reserve margin.

The city’s plan can be view at City Hall.

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