By a unanimous vote, council members approved a measure to refinance some of the funds debt by authorizing the issuance and sale of not more than $900,000 in water revenue funding bonds. The new bonds, which will pay off a 1993 bond, will save the city money because they will be issued at today's lower interest rates.
Bond attorney Jason Burningham said a contract for the sale should be ready by March 30 and final rates locked in by April 6. He anticipated closing the deal by April 21.
"Right now," he added, "I'm asking permission to send out the bid."
He got it.
In another bonding matter, Burningham reported that he had hoped to obtain a "AAA" insurance grade for the bonds the city plans to sell to fund construction of a new city hall. But, due to conditions in the insurance market, a "AA" grade appears more realistic.
"This will still reduce the rate paid by the city, just not quite as much as an AAA," he explained.
Burningham said he is pursuing this bond issue on the same schedule as the water bond refinance situation and expects to "price the bonds" by April 6.
Debt service for these bonds should cost West Bountiful between $145,000 and $148,000 a year. The city had tentatively budgeted for $150,000 for that purpose.
West Bountiful plans to issue $2.3 million in bonds, although only $1.5 million will go toward the new city hall. That's because the new building will be constructed at the same location as the current (550 N. 800 West) and will take ground now being occupied by the public works department. A new public works facility will, therefore, have to be built as well.
Speaking of the new city hall, city administrator Wendell Wild had some disheartening news about the city's "design-build" plan. Although a bill was approved in the last legislative session, clearing the way for municipalities to employ the concept, and for projects costing as little as $250,000, some later changes in wording delayed its passage.
"That means instead of its taking effect upon signing," he noted, "it will have to wait until May 1. Obviously, this is a disappointment."
Wild explained that the city will have to re-issue its RFPs (requests for proposals). The existing ones will be void by that time.