St. Charles plans to borrow $15.7 million to fund police station, other capital projects

 
 
Updated 5/21/2019 6:03 PM

Police station construction, 7th Avenue Creek improvements and a new automated utility metering system are among the projects that could be financed through St. Charles' plan to borrow $15.7 million.

Aldermen acting as a government operations committee Monday unanimously supported issuing the general obligation bonds, about $11.5 million of which would go toward a hodgepodge of capital improvements identified during a February city council retreat, Finance Director Chris Minick said.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

The key project, he said, is the final construction phase for the city's new state-of-the-art police station, which is expected to be completed by this fall at 1515 W. Main St.

St. Charles borrowed $17 million last year to cover the bulk of the $24.6 million project. If approved by the city council, about $5 million of this year's bond series would be used to fund some remaining construction costs, as well as the evaluation and possible demolition of the police department's current headquarters downtown, Minick said.

The bond proceeds also would finance the first phase of improvements and flood mitigation along the 7th Avenue Creek corridor, the reconstruction of Rita and Nicholas avenues, and the painting of the 10th Street water tower. Nearly $3 million would be used to help implement advanced metering infrastructure, an initiative that city officials have been contemplating for years, Minick said.

"There are definitely some good infrastructure-related projects for the city as we move forward here," he said. "Most have been planned for some time. These have gone through the budget process, and they've been discussed with council."

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The remaining funds are expected to facilitate the completion of street, wastewater and building projects outlined in the 2018-19 budget, Minick said, or to reimburse the city for those that have already been finished.

The city council is set to vote June 3 on an ordinance authorizing staff members to issue and sell the bonds -- a process that would likely take place within the next month or two, Minick said. The city is seeking a 20-year bond issue with an interest rate not exceeding 6%, according to the measure, though final terms will depend on market conditions at the time of the sale.

The annual debt service payments will be funded by the city's existing revenue streams, Minick said. "We don't expect this to have an impact on taxpayers," he said.

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