Archive for Thursday, May 25, 2006

Council chooses bond retirement schedule

May 25, 2006

The Eudora City Council decided at least part of a $3.7 million question Monday during its regular business meeting.

After reviewing two payment options to be written into a question for a bond referendum for a new pool and recreation center to be put before voters in August, the council decided to bond the issue out for 20 years.

"If it were my choice, I would be selecting the 20-year bond," city administrator Cheryl Beatty said.

The bond debt would be retired annually through a half-cent sales tax to be supplemented by a projected increase to the annual property tax levy of about 2.9 mills.

Although the final amount of the mill hike will be tied to how much sales tax revenue the city musters yearly, taxpayers could only be hit with a net one-mill increase if the projected rate and the project goes through.

That's because Eudora USD 491 foresees its own taxing authority being reduced by two mills in the near future, Beatty said.

Beatty also looks to the city's bright commercial future to take the brunt of the payment load should the referendum pass.

"Remember as we get more commercial business in here and more sales taxes, then the mill value for payment goes back down," Beatty said. "We don't anticipate having to go the full three mills."

Eudora Mayor Tom Pyle also saw the connection.

"As you get more sales tax generated, it's going to help tremendously," Pyle said.

The project will encompass a new swimming pool located at the same location as the current pool with the amenities of a water slide and a zero-depth entry point.

In addition to the pool, the bond would pay for the construction of a community center complete with a regulation size basketball court and meeting areas for local community groups.

A citizen committee organized by Beatty helped refine the concept for the recreation complex, and will soon take charge in promoting it.

After reviewing the repayment information supplied by Piper Jaffray, the council made a decision with little discussion.

Councilman Kevin Miller pointed to the net savings as a benefit to the 20-year bond.

"We'd save almost a million," Miller said.

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