The Board of Estimates approved funding for three groups of bonds amounting to over $100 million Tuesday that will allow refinancing and funding for city projects.
Dean Brasser, city comptroller, met with the board to discuss the city’s borrowing practices, as the city plans on borrowing more than $106 million in the form of bonds.
With all three series, the board will spend a little more than $106 million on promissory notes. Of that, $44 million relates to refinancing old debt.
The mayor has recently introduced the city’s capital budget, which outlines the plans for city projects and the funds dedicated to them.
As the city’s financial committee, the board hashes out the fiscal details of the city’s borrowing practices for the projects, securing interest rates for when the city pays the money back.
Brasser said the AAA bond rating the city recently maintained has given the city very good interest rates.
Due to the unstable economy, interest rates are remarkably low, and Brasser said “this is a great time to borrow money if someone is lending it.”
In fact, the interest rates that were secured are the lowest rates the board has dealt with in more than two decades. While Brasser expected the interest rates to be low, the ones secured are actually lower than previous expectations.
“These rates will have a long term positive impact,” Brasser said.
Based on the rates, the city can expect to save about $530,000 over six years.
Ald. Tim Bruer, District 14, and Ald. Mike Verveer, District 4, both expressed praise to Brasser for his fiscal practices and maintaining the AAA bond rating.
“I want to publicly thank [Brasser] for reminding us constantly of the annual importance of our reserve fund,” Verveer said.
The board also approved a settlement with Walgreen Co. for the years 2005 to 2008 amounting to $495,000, which will be taken from city resources to make the settlement payment. The only year that is left unaccounted for is 2009, which has yet to be settled with Walgreen Co.
?– Matt Marx contributed to this report.