Commission approves sale of bonds, temporary notes

John Richmeier
The Leavenworth Times

When they met this week, Leavenworth city commissioners approved the sale of $9.3 million worth of bonds and temporary notes.

The sale of the bonds and temporary notes took place Tuesday. And commissioners took final action to issue the bonds and temporary notes when they met later that day.

The city is issuing $7.9 million in general obligation refunding and improvement bonds. The sale of these bonds will be used to finance stormwater improvement projects at Second and Chestnut streets and on Independence Court. The bonds also will be used to provide permanent financing for pavement projects that were funded last year through temporary notes. The bonds also will be used to refinance earlier bonds issued by the city.

Greg Vahrenberg, managing director of a Raymond James public finance office in Kansas City, Missouri, said the refinancing of the earlier bonds will save the city $315,038. He said $284,000 of the savings will be realized during the next three years.

Vahrenberg, who served as a financial adviser for the sale of the bonds and temporary notes, spoke to city commissioners through a videoconferencing system. The online system was used to conduct the meeting because of concerns related to COVID-19.

Mayor Mike Griswold led the meeting from Leavenworth City Hall, but other commissioners participated from remote locations.

The bonds are being sold to Country Club Bank with an interest rate for repaying the debt of 1.01%.

The city is issuing $1.4 million in temporary notes to fund pavement projects for this year.

The temporary notes are being sold to Central States Capital Markets with an interest rate of 0.71%.

Vahrenberg said the interest rates submitted by bidders for the bonds and temporary notes were lower than estimates that were used during the preparation for Tuesday’s sale.

He said there was a spike in interests rates in March as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Interests rates settled back down,” he said.

And at the time of Tuesday’s sale, they were near record lows.

“Time has been our friend in this case,” Griswold said.

Commissioners took a series of votes to accept the bids from the sale and issue the bonds and temporary notes. All of the motions were approved 4-0. Commissioner Camalla Leonhard did not participate in the meeting.

Twitter: @LVTNewsJohnR

In other business

The Leavenworth City Commission:

• Adopted a list of goals for 2020-2021.

• Reached a consensus to advance an ordinance that, if ultimately approved, would vacate a right-of-way for Meadow Lane between Grand Avenue and Meadow Road. Even though the right-of-way exists, this section of Meadow Lane has never been constructed.

Commissioners reached a consensus on the ordinance after conducting a public hearing on the issue.

The ordinance will come back to commissioners during a future meeting for a final vote.

• Authorized insurance proceeds to be returned the owner of 228-230 Ottawa St.

The structure at that property was damaged by a fire last year. The city was allowed to keep a portion of the owner’s insurance proceeds until repairs were made.