The city plans to borrowl more than $16 million in early February to recover the costs of a number of projects that are already underway or completed.
Selling the bonds and notes will bring in revenue to replenish the $17 million rainy day fund, which is full of IOUs because officials have dipped into it for several years to cover spending that includes even the purchase of the now demolished downtown mall.
City Comptroller Glenn Klocko said experts are telling him the city might be able to pay as little as 4 percent on the long-term bonds that it’s selling.
That’s half a percent cheaper than he figured just a couple of weeks ago and could mean a savings to taxpayers of $100,000 over the life of the bonds, Klocko said.
“The rates are extremely low,” Klocko said, adding that catching the market at the right moment is “all about timing.”
The City Council and Board of Finance voted to approve the borrowing recently, with city Councilor Mike Rimcoski raising the only real opposition. He said he could not vote to borrow money for buying the mall because he so strongly objected to it.
City Councilor Frank Nicastro, who also opposed the $5.3 million move in 2005, said he abstained because he was not on the council when the mall was purchased.
The city is making a pitch to bond rating agents on Jan. 27 to leave intact the city’s solid financial rating. The bond sale itself is slated for Feb. 5.
Klocko said that next time the city sells bonds, he’s going to try for an upgrade, which would allow Bristol to borrow even more cheaply.
He has a secret weapon, too: ESPN.
It seems that giving the financial analysts a personalized tour of ESPN, including the chance to sit behind the SportsCenter desk for a picture, is such “a hot commodity” that it might help Bristol make its case.
Some projects included in the bond sale:
$4.5 for Rockwell Park renovations
$385,000 to replace Bristol Eastern’s track
$600,000 to reconstruct Allentown Road
$700,000 to repair the North Creek conduit
$800,000 to replace the Main Street culvert
$3.5 million to demolish the mall
$6.3 million to buy the mall
Contact Steve Collins at firstname.lastname@example.org