By Linda Scherer
Winsted City Council got some unexpected good news at its Tuesday meeting; news that will save the city money and provide more flexibility.
Governor Tim Pawlenty recently signed special legislation for the City of Winsted giving the city bonding authority to fund the city center project.
The city has been waiting for the legislation to be passed since it first began working on funding for its new city hall.
Better late than never, the council accepted the legislation and will use the bond issue to cover a portion of the new city hall funding taken from its general fund and park reserve budget. The council will also use bonding for funds to increase its contingency budget.
This does not mean new taxes. “Our payments for the bond issue can be covered by existing revenues of the city . . . no additional levy will be needed,” City Administrator Brent Mareck said.
In addition, Mareck pointed out some advantages of using the bond issue rather than the loan from the general fund.
“It allows the general fund balance to be immediately restored, the debt can be spread out over 20 years instead of over the next five years, and the interest rates for borrowing money are extremely low,” Mareck said.
“It will save money,” Council Member Tom Wiemiller said about accepting the legislation.
Other council members agreed.
“There is less risk, more flexibility and an opportune time with the depressed market,” Council Member Tom Ollig said.
Odds and ends
In other business, the council:
• approved the advertisement of bids for the 2008 lawn service contract.
Bids are due to the Winsted City Hall by Friday, April 11, at 10 a.m.
• authorized Bolton & Menk to prepare plans and specifications for a street improvement project for Shady Creek Drive and Shady Creek Circle.
• reviewed an agreement to lease Campbell Field to the Winsted Wildcats for a period of one year.
• learned that people are using the four cigarette dispensers placed throughout town. The businesses have responded positively to having the dispensers in their location to contain the waste.
• accepted a donation of $3,000 from the Winsted Volunteer Fire Department Relief Association for the purchase of two defibrillators.