LRA studies $4.2 million bond issue

By C.J. Barbre

At the Dec. 14 Lindsay Redevelopment Agency meeting the LRA board was given a "Finance Workshop" via a PowerPoint Presentation by Doug Anderson with Urban Futures.

LRA Secretary Kenny Walker said, "LRA revenue is approaching a level where we can float a bond issue to bring in more revenue."

Anderson started with a brief history, saying that the Lindsay Redevelopment District encompasses most of the city. It began in 1986-87 with 555 acres. It was amended in 1993 with an additional 140 acres, and in 1995 with another 238 acres. This August the LRA proposed adding an additional 263 acres which would bring the total Redevelopment District to 1,196 acres.

Redevelopment agencies have a 20-year life span in which to incur debt. "Basically we have 20 years from the start so there are less than three years left. It is experiencing steady growth at approximately 3 percent."

Anderson said for every $100,000 of tax area, cities generally get about $16,000. However, with a Redevelopment Area, it "flip flops" so the city and the redevelopment agency together would get $60,000 of that $100,000. Anderson proposed the city float a $4.2 million bond.

Walker later explained that most bonds are purchased by large investment banks. He said they were purchased with the purchaser receiving a set amount of interest. He said the annual interest rate would be between 5.15 and 5.95 percent. The bond would be paid back in 20 years.

"Are we talking about borrowing $4.2 million?" asked LRA Chairman Ed Murray.

"Yes," Anderson responded. "We're talking about refunding debt, like refinancing a home. This is just the first step." He said setting up the necessary elements would take 60-90 days.

In other LRA business Lindsay Community Development Analyst Bill Zigler informed the agency that Sav on Gas and Mexico Lindo Restaurant at 340/342 W. Hermosa St. is requesting $20,000 in funding from the Storefront Treatment Enhancement Program (STEP). STEP offers a maximum of $10,000 for a single building with a single storefront and $20,000 maximum for a single building with multiple storefronts to applicants who wish to improve the physical appearance of their buildings and properties within the selected portions of the redevelopment district.

The applicant, Piara Ghuman, estimates the total project to cost $66,960.

"It's important because it's on the main corridor into town," Zigler said. Staff recommended the Redevelopment Agency approve the application with the understanding that new landscaping had to be maintained or the city would intervene within the duration of the easement period.

Resolution LRA 04-07, authorizing an expenditure commitment for Sav On Gas and Mexico Lindo Restaurant passed unanimously.

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