City Council votes to re-issue bonds for Aquatic Park, Library

The Falls City Council approved a plan at the Monday, April 21, meeting to save approximately $135,000 in bond payments on the aquatic park and library, after a representative with bond underwriters, Smith Hays, presented the Council with the findings of the re-issued bonds.

Blaine Spady with Smith Hays Financial Services said the city is currently paying 3.31 percent on the aquatic park bonds with a balance owed of approximately $1,725,000 and 3.7 percent on the library bonds with a balance owed of approximately $1,220,000.

Spady said the re-issued bonds would have an interest rate of approximately 1.75 percent and by reissuing the bonds, the annual payment would remain the same, but cut a year off the debt service, thus saving the city approximately $135,000.

Council members voted to waive the three readings of the resolution and approved the action on the bonds.

EDGE Executive Director Beckie Cromer gave the council the first quarter report for 2014, noting that funding for the Wilderness Falls II housing addition will not happen this year. Excel Development said the application fell just short of the score needed for funding, but EDGE would apply again in 2015. The Wilderness Falls II housing addition was set to begin in July.

Falls City EDGE was granted economic development certified community status on April 1 and will be presented with their re-certification at next Monday’s council meeting by member of the economic development staff.

Cromer also updated the council on the ongoing public records lawsuit brought against them by David Leon Frederick of Salem Grain. Cromer said EDGE filed its final response brief on April 11 and were notified two weeks ago that the Nebraska Supreme Court bypassed the appellate court and will hear the case the last week of May.

Frederick, concerned over public records, filed several lawsuits against EDGE and the City of Falls City since Consolidated Grain and Barge announced in 2012 they would build a facility in Falls City.

Council members, on a 5-1 vote with Councilperson Judy Murphy casting the nay vote, gave favorable comment to an application for a Class A-B liquor license for A&G Steakhouse and Pizza. The license will allow both on and off-sale for beer.

In other developments, the Council:
– Unanimously approved an additional $67,000 for engineering services to Kirkham Michael for wellfield and water treatment plant improvements at the Rulo Water Plant, as recommended by the Falls City Board of Public Works.

 – Approved a request to limit the length of time for parking in the two stalls in front of Falls City Auto Supply, 1820 Stone Street, to 15 minutes between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The vote was 5-1 with Councilman Don Ferguson casting the nay vote. Council members Jim Wisdom and Kirby Robidoux were not present.

– Listened to a report from City Administrator Gary Jorn on the status of ongoing projects in Falls City. Jorn said the new building south of the power plant on South Crook Street, which will house the equipment to add chorine and fluoride to the water system. The new $80,000 building and equipment will be capable of pressurizing the water system, which currently is only pressurized by the water tower. Jorn said that once in place, the water tower will be drained and the inside cleaned.

Jorn also reported that pavement patching and crack-and-seal projects are also being completed by the Street Department.

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