Tri-Village News

Bond sale's $2.8 million soon in city's hands

Money will be used to improve parks, possibly to upgrade pool


The city of Grandview Heights is tentatively scheduled to receive the money next Thursday, Dec. 20, from its sale of bonds to pay for improvements at Pierce Field and Wyman Woods parks.

City Council on Dec. 3 unanimously approved legislation to authorize the issuance and sale of up to $2.8 million in bonds.

The park projects have been long discussed with an open question as to how they could be funded, especially during the tight budgets the city has faced over the last several years.

"Some of us never thought we'd live long enough to see these improvements happen," Mayor Ray DeGraw said, perhaps only half-jokingly, after council voted to authorize the bonds.

The Pierce Field project will include the construction of a new multipurpose building.

At Wyman Woods, the city plans to improve drainage to address flooding issues and build a turnaround in the parking lot.

Because the planned work at the parks is expected to cost around $2.1 million, the city may consider using the remaining proceeds for improvements to the municipal pool.

The parks and recreation advisory board will meet at 7 p.m. today, Dec. 13, to discuss potential recommendations for pool improvements.

Brian Cooper, a director with Robert W. Baird & Co., is serving as bond counsel for the project. He told council the city received an AA credit rating from Standard & Poors following its Nov. 14 presentation to the credit rating agency.

"It's a fantastic rating," he said. "There are only two rating categories higher than AA. That's what we were shooting for."

The AA rating indicates the city has "excellent financial management and strong demographics," Cooper said.

While he said he could not publicly discuss what price he expects the city to receive for the bonds, Cooper told council that "rates continue to be low so our timing in general is good."

The ordinance council approved will allow the city to go to the market and get the bonds priced, said Jennifer Blaser, a partner with Perk Shafer and Williams LLP, a law firm specializing in public finance.

The legislation also sets the perimeters for the deal, she said.

Once the bonds are priced, the city will be able to sign a bond purchase agreement that lays out the terms of the bond, including the interest rate and when the bonds will mature, Blaser said.

The closing documents then will be prepared, and once they are signed, Cooper's firm will wire the money to the city, she said. The expected closing date is Dec. 20.