Westerville News & Public Opinion

$8.03 million

Bond sale will fund Westerville's capital improvement projects

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The city of Westerville will take on $8.03 million in bond debt to partially finance this year's capital-improvement projects.

City Council approved five bond-related ordinances for future capital-improvement projects at its April 2 meeting, along with two ordinances allowing the refinancing of $18.9 million in debt borrowed in 2007 to pay for construction of the city's third electrical substation.

With the refinancing, the city will issue revenue bonds for the first time. The refinancing will take the city from interest rates of between 4.1 and 5 percent to an interest rate about 2.7 percent, Finance Director Lee Ann Shortland said.

The new bonds being issued by the city will include:

• $1.325 million for the "gateway improvement project," a $2.5-million initiative to improve the South State Street corridor between Interstate 270 and Huber Village Boulevard. The remainder of the project would be funded through cash reserves from the general capital-improvement fund and the electric enterprise fund.

• $1.045 million for the first phase of the Hempstead/Walnut Recreational Path, a $1.8-million asphalt bike path. The project includes drainage improvements, bridges and right-of-way acquisition. The remainder of the project would be funded with cash reserves from the general capital-improvement fund.

• $3.685 million for improvements to the Westerville Public Service Complex, including the expansion and renovation of the existing facility, with new office space, upgraded landscaping and a new vehicle lift. The facade of the existing building will be upgraded to match the new construction. The bonds will pay for the majority of the project.

• $930,000 to purchase real estate needed for the second phase of the South State Street Streetscape Improvement Project. The debt from the issuance of the bonds will be paid back with money from a tax-increment-financing agreement for the area.

• $1.045 million for the 2013 annual street rehabilitation project, which involves various degrees of improvement to roadways throughout Westerville. The city plans to spend $8.073 million on the program this year, with the rest of the project being funded with cash from a variety of other city funds.

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