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Council approves $6 million borrow

Money to fund Waupaca projects

By Robert Cloud

Waupaca Common Council authorized the sale of three notes totalling $6.14 million to pay for upcoming capital improvement projects.

Justin Fischer with R.W. Baird, the firm that advises the city on its borrowing, told the council that recent financial news has benefited the city.

“Not only has there been a lot of changes in the financial markets, then you saw a couple bank collapses that have occurred within the last week,” Fischer said at the March 21 council meeting.

“When the banks collapsed it actually benefitted the city because when things like that happen it ends up being a flight to quality,” Fischer said. “Investors want to put their money in safe places and municipal bonds is one of those safe places.”

Waupaca saw the interest rate for the decrease substantially from the original projections in February to the time the notes were sold in March.

Public Works facility

The council approved issuing a $3.745 million municipal note to cover part of the new Public Works facility project.

It will also provide funding for two years of water utility capital improvements, including infrastructure design for the River North area,

infrastructure upgrades along Harding Street in support of the Public Works facility and a new backup generator for the water tower on Mount Tom.

The interest rate on the Public Works note dropped from 4.25% to 3.79% for a savings in debt-service payments of more than $99,000.

2023 capital improvement plan

A General Obligation Promissory Note for $1.3 million will fund the city’s annual capital improvement plan for 2023.

Projects include a new T-hanger at the Waupaca airport; a solar panel project at city hall; design work on rehabilitation projects on sections of Fulton, Badger and Elm streets; the Swan Park splash pad and playground; replacement of police squad cars; a Public Works pickup truck; and IT upgrades.

The city’s share of the airport project is 10%, while 90% is covered by funds administered through the Wisconsin Bureau of Aeronautics, according to City Administrator Aaron Jenson.

The city will pay 19% of the solar panel project, while grants and rebates will cover 81%.

Interest on the promissory note dropped from 4.25% in February to 3.59% in March, for a savings of nearly $59,000.

Wasrewater treatment upgrades

The council also approved $1.09 million in Sewage System Revenue Bonds. The bonds will pay for wastewater infrastructure designs for the River North area, wastewater infrastructure upgrades along Harding Street, design for lab upgrades, new pickup for wastewater utility, upgrade project at lift stations and upgrades to control system at the treatment plant.

Interest on the bonds dropped from 4.75% to 3.68% for a savings of more than $109,000.

At the council meeting, Finance Director Stephanie Reif noted that the city recently affirmed its A+ credit rating, which played a significant role in the city’s lower interest rates.

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