City looks to save money with bond refinancing

The city of Flandreau plans to refinance bonds for its electric revenue bonds with hopes of saving more than $330,000.
The $3.675 million in bonds were issued in 2013, and a more favorable interest rates makes it a good time to reissue the bonds, said Tom Grimmond, senior vice president with Dougherty & Co. in Sioux Falls.
“It’s a good time to be in the market if you’re refinancing or if your financing if you have a new project,” he told city council members at the Dec. 3 meeting.
The city can’t officially lock in new rates until February but should start looking at it now, he said. The bonds are callable May 1, and the interest rate can be locked in 90 days in advance.
“Interest rates have come down. They’re almost at historic lows,” he said. The city would have no out of pocket expense to refinance.
The bonds would be through 2035 but could be called earlier, typically within seven years. The bonds were originally issued to acquire and improve the extensions of the municipal electrical utility.
The mayor, city finance officer and city attorney are authorized to implement the resolution for the refinancing of the bonds.
In other city business,
•Randy Wilts has been named the streets and parks foreman and will be paid $26.78 an hour. Wilts previously was the street department employee who oversaw parks. The two supervisory positions are being combined after street foreman Mike Fargen recently retired.
•Pederson said a circulating pump needs replacing at the William J. Janklow Community Center in order to prevent the climate fluctuations that have drawn complaints from those using the building. He estimates it would cost $2,500 and said it is a piece of equipment that would still be useable if the entire system is eventually upgraded.
“It makes sense to get it fixed and get people comfortable,” he said. “Hopefully, that’s going to take care of that problem.”
•The city council approved the platting of land in the city’s industrial park so that Brian and Betty Anderson, doing business as B&B RV Storage and Service, can expand their business. The plat was needed to complete the sale of the adjoining land to their current business.
•An underground electrical contractor working for the city trenched through the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe’s geothermal system recently. The spill from that was contained, and the tribe had to remove an area of contaminated soil as a result, Pederson said.
The city and tribe are sorting out responsibilities for the issue.
•The city is seeking coverage from the Federal Emergency Management Administration for damage to the Japanese Gardens, especially the floor, after flooding in September. The county qualifies for federal disaster assistance for that incident after heavy rains soaked the area in a short amount of time.
The rain and flooding also damaged city ball fields and caused extra expenses to the city for removal of debris. Pederson said he does not yet know what FEMA will cover. “If we have any place to turn with help on that at all, it is with FEMA,” he said.
•The city is looking into leaks in the roof of the new storm shelter, which has yet to be completed. Caulk work on the building will have to be done when weather is warmer.
•The next city council meeting is 6:30 p.m. Dec. 16 with a potluck Christmas get-together starting at 5:30 p.m.


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