City moves forward with bond refinancing

Webster City officials are working to refinance a major electric utility bond issue in a move that could save $40,000 a year.

In 2012, $14,915,000 was borrowed to pay for upgrades to the municipal electric utility. The city government makes the debt payments, and is then reimbursed by Corn Belt Power Cooperative, which supplies the electricity to the municipal utility.

The bond issue has an interest rate of 5.35 percent, according to Paul Donna, a representative of the financial firm R.W. Baird.

Donna told the council Monday that by refinancing, an interest rate of about 4 percent could be attained.

He estimated that an interest rate of about 4 percent would produce about $40,000 in annual savings.

”Just to be blunt, we’re saving money,” Councilman Jim Talbot said.

”Rates are moving in your favor,” Donna replied.

On Monday, the council approved a procedural measure to start the refinancing process. The city has not yet actually gone to the bond markets to refinance the debt.

Councilmen Matt McKinney and Brian Miller were absent from the otherwise unanimous vote.

Also on Monday, the council approved the second reading of an ordinance that requires downtown property owners to restore the brickwork when repairing sidewalks.

The measures states ”In the downtown district, sidewalks shall be finished back to their pre-repaired or replaced design, including, but not limited to, replacing or repairing brick to the previous design matching adjacent property owners.”

That proposal must be approved once more to become law.


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