Taking advantage of lower interest rates, Powell plans to refinance two voter-approved bonds that are about 10 years old.

Taking advantage of lower interest rates, Powell plans to refinance two voter-approved bonds that are about 10 years old.

"(We're) taking advantage of the low interest rates to refinance the bonds," Steve Lutz, Powell city manager, told city council Dec. 15. "By getting the lower interest rates, we're going to be able to pay off the bonds several years earlier than they're currently set to expire."

Council approved refinancing a bond issued in 1997 for $2.72-million for various capital projects including road construction, improvement and repaving, drainage improvements and land purchases. The amount of the refinancing would be up to $1.69-million, city documents said.

The other bond approved for refinancing was issued in 1999 for $2.57-million. It funded various capital projects including constructing roadway connections and installing traffic signals. The amount of the refinancing would be up to $1.485-million.

"With this approximate $3.15-million in refinancing, there's a potential to save 10 percent. When you spread that over the life of the bonds the millage savings would be very negligible to any one property owner each year. The staff and finance committee recommended that the savings be used to pay off the debt earlier," Lutz told council.

The current interest rates are 5.35 to 5.60 percent on the 1997 bond and 4.25 to 4.80 percent on the 1999 bond, city spokesperson Jeff Robinson told ThisWeek.

The "estimated new interest rate range is 3.33 to 3.52 percent," Robinson wrote in an e-mail.

The estimated cost to process the refinancing is $71,000, Robinson wrote, adding that "all the (voter approved) funds have been spent" and roughly $3.045-million has been paid on interest on the two bonds.

In other business at last week's meeting, council:

Approved a contract to lease a city-owned building, 44 N. Liberty St., to Historic Downtown Powell Inc. The organization receives free space in the administrative offices of city hall, 47 Hall St. It will occupy an office and reception area of the building for $240 a month, the contract said. The lease is the same cost per square footage as previous renters paid, Lutz said. That cost is $5.88 per square foot, Robinson said.

Through grants, the city hopes to renovate the remainder of the 2,679-square-foot building for use as a business incubator, which would provide low-cost office space to new businesses. City diagrams of the building show four incubator offices and a conference area in addition to the reception area and office space that Historic Downtown Powell Inc. would use.

Heard Lutz say effective Jan. 1, residents' monthly rate for trash pickup by Rumpke will decrease to $15.97 per month from its current $16.25 per month. The decrease is contractual and tied to changes in the Consumer Price Index between September 2008 and September 2009, Lutz said. Recognized council member Dan Wiencek for his years of service to the city including eight years on city council; recognized Elmer Meider for his years of service to the city including serving on city council from January 2006 until he resigned due to schedule conflicts in July 2009; and recognized David Lackey for his years of service to the city including filling Meider's vacant seat for 2009.