Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Cashed-strapped city nets extra $10M in loans

The City of Madison’s budget conversation shifted away from deep cuts this week after the city received $10 million more in borrowing than the city had original asked for.

Last week the city asked to borrow $67 million, according to Madison’s Finance Director David Schmiedicke. The city sold bonds to raise this money and had bankers bid on the proposal, he said.

A “competitive bid” is how the city received a $10 million boost last week Schmiedicke said. The lenders ended up granting the city $77 million for the $67 million they borrowed.


Schmiedicke said he believes the money should be allocated to one-time purposes, particularly items the city may borrow in the future.

Mayor Paul Soglin found out about the boost late last week and shared it with City Council members on Monday, Ald. Lauren Cnare, District 3, said.

This is the largest premium the city has received to her knowledge, she said.

Instances in which these premiums, such as the $10 million the city received, have grown larger over the last few years “in response to general economic stances,” Schmiedicke said.

In 2006, the city bond sale raised $293,000 and last year it raised $4 million, he said.

Cnare said the mayor would like to see some of the money go towards renovations to the new Central Library and other projects downtown.

She added many city alders are wondering when they will get to see some of the money. The alders must put in a budget amendment in order to see some of the money for their districts, she said.

Cnare said she would like to see the money go to paying off Madison’s debts, which Schmiedicke said is currently at $330 million.

“You have to think about what the citizens want,” Cnare said.

To Ald. Scott Resnick, District 8, this boost means the city can take a hard look at relieving current debt issues.

This “one time use” of the $10 million allows the city to “really look toward the future,” Resnick said.

He said this money helped bring border-line projects which alders thought they’d have to cut back to life. The underground wiring on Williamson Street that will cost $1 million is one example of this type of project.

Resnick said he also believes the money should go towards debt relief.

“This money can go a long way to solve debt issues,” he said.

The Capital Budget will come before the council on Tuesday where the group would likely send it straight to the Board of Estimates, Cnare said.

Cnare added she hopes the council will see the approved budget in mid-November when the Common Council will have the final say.

The $10 million comes with the interest rate in the future of 1.69 percent, Schmiedicke said. Right now the city gets the $10 million, but there will be higher interest in the future.

“In exchange for the payment of $77 million, the city will pay $16.9 million in interest costs over the next 10 years,” Schmiedicke said in an email to all city alders.

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