Bond will save city money

Staff writer

A $2.2 million bond issue approved Monday by the Marion City Council to refinance outstanding loans and pay for work on the flood control levee will save the city almost half a million dollars.

The $232,000 levee assessment, a requirement for the levee to be accredited by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and refinancing were studied and discussed extensively in prior meetings, so little discussion was necessary as the council approved the procedural measures to issue the bonds.

“This is to refinance your existing Kansas Department of Transportation loan for Eisenhower and Cedar, to refinance your outstanding USDA bonds that paid for the water plant improvements, and to finance the levy improvements,” said Sarah Steele of Gilmore and Bell.

“Basically you’re shortening your maturities, saving on considerable interest there, as well as in this market reducing your interest rates to as historically-low as you can,” Steele said.

“By approving this re-finance they’ve calculated approximately $455,000 savings over the life of the note,” City Administrator Doug Kjellin said.

The council approved the bond issue 4-0. Council member Chris Meierhoff was absent from the meeting.

Grant administrator

Kjellin reported on bids from two companies to administer a Community Development Block Grant for street repairs.

The council approved Oct. 1 an application to the Kansas Department of Commerce for a grant of up to $400,000 to be used for a $1.2 million street repair project, which is still under consideration. Should the city be awarded a CDBG grant, it needs to have a grant manager ready to go.

Governmental Assistance Services of Lawrence and Ranson Financial Consultants of Wichita submitted bids. Ranson is currently working with the city on the Jex Addition sewer project.

“Both myself and Angela (Lange, city clerk) did a grading of the two firms,” Kjellin said. “Ranson Financial appeared to have more experience.”

The council accepted Ranson’s bid of $19,500, contingent on receipt of the grant. The bid from Governmental Assistance Services was $20,000.

In other business:

  • An interlocal agreement with Hillsboro for a zebra mussel mitigation project at Marion Reservoir was renewed. The agreement, which lapsed at the end of August, requires the city to pay 34 percent of the costs incurred for the project.
  • The council approved 3-1 a $49,500 three-year financial auditing contract with Swindoll, Janzen, Hawk, & Loyd LLC of McPherson. Kline voted against the contract.
  • Action on a surplus equipment auction and fee schedule revisions was tabled until the next council meeting.
  • No member of the public came to the public hearing for the levee appraisal project.

The next meeting of the council is 4:30 p.m. Oct. 29.

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