UNION — At its scheduled Dec. 11 meeting City of Union council vote to amend its annual appropriations ordinance (1668) for 2017 by $1,389,400 under emergency status in order to balance its budget.
Council also adopted a second ordinance (1669) under emergency status establishing the annual appropriations for Fiscal Year 2018.
“We did have a meeting of our budget committee and went over this extensively and we agreed that this should be passed,” said Mayor Michael O’Callaghan.
“I just want to assure everyone that we had a very diligent, long, deep-digging budget meeting,” said Council Member Robin Perkins. “We put John and Denise (Winemiller) through a lot at the meeting to explain everything that they are doing for us and they never fail to deliver, so we have another great budget.”
The grand total for all appropriations came to just over $14.5 million.
A third ordinance (1670) adopted under emergency status established employee pay and the total number of full-time, regular part-time, seasonal part-time and auxiliary positions within the city for 2018.
Council passed Resolution 17-08 in one reading to authorize City Manager John Applegate to enter into a contract with the law office of the Montgomery County Public Defender to provide legal services for indigent people charged with offenses that could result in jail time under the city’s legal ordinances.
“This is a housekeeping item that we do every year,” Applegate said.
“Another year has come and gone and that is hard to believe,” O’Callaghan said. “I want to wish everyone a nice Christmas holiday season and a happy New Year. You can’t help but to get in the spirit of Christmas when you drive down Main Street. As usual it looks so nice. Also, as we do every year, the park board will be meeting this Friday around seven o’clock to drive around the city looking at all of the Christmas lights as we normally do to pick out all the good ones and send those residents a nice letter of commendation that they have done a good job. If you get a chance to get out, there are a lot of people with nice light displays at this time, not just the city.”
Other members of council wished everyone happy holidays and praised the beauty of the city’s light display on the trees lining Main Street.
“It has been a good year and it has always been a pleasure to work with mayor and council,” Applegate said. “As Mike (O’Callaghan) and Robin (Perkins) will tell you, this coming year we are going to be busy. We have a lot of stuff that is on our plate. The number one project is dealing with the expansion of the wastewater treatment plant.”
Recently, the city, with the help of Ross, Sinclaire & Associates, LLC and Dinsmore & Shohl, LLP issued a $4,820,000 Various Purpose Limited Tax General Obligation Bond Issue.
The proceeds of the bonds will be used for the following various purposes: (1) to retire certain outstanding general obligation bond anticipation notes originally issued to (a) pay the cost of acquiring a fire truck and related equipment, (b) pay the cost of sewer system improvements for the Old Springfield Road Sewer Extension Project, and (c) finance sewer system improvements at the City of Union’s wastewater treatment plant, including the purchase and installation of equipment to aid in the treatment processes of the plant, together with necessary appurtenances, (2) to refund certain outstanding general obligation bonds originally issued to pay the cost of expansion of the fire station, and (3) to finance the cost of wastewater treatment plant expansion.
The refinancing of the city’s Series 2007B bonds was possible due to a favorable interest rate environment in the municipal bond market. The refinancing portion of the Series 2017 bonds will save taxpayers $82,878 in gross debt service savings over the remaining life of the bonds. This translates into gross savings of approximately $8,287 annually for the next ten years. The refinancing significantly reduced the all-in true interest cost of the city’s debt to 2.50 percent from 4.54 percent. This is a 45 percent reduction from the average interest cost of the Series 2007B bonds that were refunded.
In addition to the refunding savings, the city was also able to achieve a remarkably low all-in interest cost for the aggregate 20 year bond issue of 3.05 percent. The city’s achievements in the bond marketplace are directly correlated to the hard work of the financing team and the very strong bond rating that the city achieved from Standard & Poor’s Rating Agency (“S&P”) on its Series 2017 bonds (AA-).
Applegate and Assistant City Manager / Finance Director Denise Winemiller strive to take advantage of every opportunity to reduce taxes for the city’s constituents. Management’s decision to capitalize on favorable bond market conditions provided a great opportunity to save money for the community and finance much needed long-term projects at very attractive long-term interest rates.
“Denise did one hell of a job pulling this stuff together,” Applegate added. “It has been a good year and we have another one ahead of us. I want to wish the community and mayor and council happy holidays and Merry Christmas and a good New Year.”
Law Director Joe Moore also commented on the past year.
“I really enjoy working for you as a council and I appreciate the opportunity to do that,” Moore said. “I really enjoy working with John and Denise. We’ve worked together for a number of years and it is great working for the city and it is great being involved in seeing the city just grow, or whatever you want to call the verb. We do lots of good things here and it is just wonderful being a part of it, so I appreciate being part of it and happy holidays to everybody.”
The city’s next council meeting will take place on Monday, January 8, 2018 at 7:30 p.m.
Reach Ron Nunnari at 684-9124, via email Rnunnari@AimMediaMidwest.com or on Twitter @Englewood_Ind