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New London city council approves $900,000 in debt

Needing funds to repair and replace several city building roofs and a technology building addition to the municipal building, the New London city council approved the sale of $900,000 of General Obligation Promissory Notes at its January meeting.

The city’s current debt, which is mostly from its TIF district, is scheduled to be retired in 2016. The new $900,000 debt is scheduled to be retired in 10 years. The roofs to be repaired or replaced include those on: the swimming pool building, city hall, the library, the senior center and the city hall hose tower.

If the new debt were financed for more than 10 years then the city would have had to specify specific dollar amounts to specific projects. The selling of the General Obligation Promissory Notes passed 9-1 with Alderperson Tom O’Connell voting nay.

The council also approved the sale of $3,570,000 of Sewerage, Water and Electric System Mortgage Revenue Refunding Bonds. This is a straight refinance of existing debt that will save $25,000-$30,000 per year. It was passed unanimously.

Plant upgrades

At the Jan. 3 Board of Public Works meeting, a discussion took place regarding how to keep the design phase for the plant upgrades on schedule. Waste Water Treatment Plant Chief Operator Ben Greuel informed the committee that he misinterpreted the cost for the design work for the plant upgrade when he submitted his budget.

In the submitted 2013 budget, he had requested $150,000 for the design work, when the actual total should have been $229,000 for the design work of the upgrade.

To come up with the remaining $79,000 for the design work, Greuel suggested the committee consider two options.

The first option consisted of taking $79,000 out of retained earnings to reach the $229,000 required for the design portion of the project. Judy Radke, treasurer/finance director for the city of New London, estimated that there will be $1,590,792 at the end of 2013 in retained earnings.

The second option consisted of pushing back the design phase to July 2013 and budget the remaining $79,000 in 2014.

The committee recommended the council take $79,000 out of retained earnings to keep the design phase for plant upgrades on schedule. The recommendation needed a two-thirds majority vote before the entire council to pass. It passed unanimously.

Other Public Works business

The council unanimously approved a new agreement for Wastewater Treatment Services between the city of New London and Saputo Cheese USA, Inc.

It also unanimously approved a consulting agreement in the amount of $11,895 and the authorization to proceed with AECOM Technical Services, Inc. This is in regard to the Sanitary and Storm Sewer System Mapping Phase 4 proposal from AECOM.

Boat launch fees

The second reading of the ordinance increasing boat launch fees was read and approved 9-1. O’Connell voted nay.

The annual city boat launch fee will be $20 for residents and $40 for non-residents. The fee will be $35 for commercial businesses. The daily boat launch fee will be $4 for all users. Those paying an annual fee will not be charged a daily fee.

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