Cty on track with bond refinancing

Published 10:10 pm Friday, October 8, 2010

With the close of the fiscal year underway, Troy city officials are working to fast-track the bond refinancing process that would generate $5 million in funds for new projects.

“I want to have all of this completed before year-end,” said Troy Mayor Jimmy Lunsford. “I’d like to get into the market in November. If we wait until December, it’s hard to get in to see people, to make things happen.”

The Troy council voted in September to refinance $8.274 million of general obligation bonds and to seek an additional $5 million in the process. The bulk of the funds – nearly $4 million – will be used for the construction of a much-anticipated new public library. The remainder will be used for the construction of a new public works building at the site of the old recycling center; a new nutrition center, if a matching CDBG grant is received by the city; and the purchase of the old Liberty National Building in downtown Troy.

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In addition to wanting to capitalize on the current market rates, which are an incentive to the bond refinancing package, Lunsford said the city wants to work quickly so that work can progress quickly on the library construction project.

“Since the council has agreed to move forward on this scenario, I think the library has already been working with the architects,” Lunsford said. “It takes a pretty good while to get final plans drawn … but I’m hopeful that by the first of the year we’ll be sending that project out to bid.”

The new public works project is “not as critical,” Lunsford said, adding that he expects to begin the planning and renovation process sometime in early 2011.

In addition, Lunsford said he plans to make recommendations to the council at its 5 p.m. Tuesday meeting regarding utilities bonds issued in 2002 and upcoming capital needs related to utilities.