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Iron Mountain to wait until after election for water bond refunding

October 16, 2012
The Daily News


Staff Writer

IRON MOUNTAIN - Iron Mountain city officials and members of the finance committee are continuing to review information for the 2004 water bond refunding.

But the plan is to wait until after the presidential election on Nov. 6.

At the Oct. 1 meeting of the Iron Mountain City Council, City Manager Jordan Stanchina had detailed the impact of the current water bond and the potential savings for each of the bond refunding options.

Since that meeting, the city has consulted with a financial adviser to discuss refunding the bonds that are currently going to expire in 2034. Stanchina had noted that there might be a significant savings if they refunded the bonds with $4,005,000 of principal remaining and $2,552,045 of interest.

Three possible scenarios are being looked at to set up a 15-year refunding that would take seven years off of the bond. The gross dollar savings of each option varies as well as the contribution by the city, from no cash to $575,000 cash contribution.

The city has some time before a decision has to be made since they can't pay off any of the bonds until they are first called on March 1.

Something will probably brought back to the council for action by the second meeting in November, Stanchina said.

Councilman Ted Corombos, who is on the finance committee, noted that they discussed in their meeting whether to go with one underwriter or get bids.

"The best way is to go for bids. We need to get a hold of Miller-Canfield, our bond attorney, and get a resolution prepared when we are ready to move on this. It's pretty much on track to move forward on it, but it depends on the interest rates we can get when we go out," Corombos said.

Stanchina agreed but said they feel that they need to wait and see what happens in the presidential election as well as in the House and Senate races.

"We have to wait and see how that impacts the interest rates. A change of presidents could have a significant impact on interest rates and potential savings we have estimated," Stanchina said.

He added that if they started the process now, the bonds would not be sold until after the election. And the bonds' interest rates are not determined until they are actually sold.

"If we wait until after the election to start the process, we will have a clearer picture of potential interest rates," Stanchina said.

In the manager's report, Stanchina also told the council that the next Consolidated Services Committee meeting with Kingsford officials is Tuesday. They will be discussing the draft copy of the emergency services authority and what feedback they have from each of their councils.

"It has been approximately a month and a half since the Iron Mountain and Kingsford city councils received the draft copy of the Emergency Services Authority," Stanchina said. "We are meeting tomorrow to discuss this template and see if any further action is going to happen on it."

Iron Mountain City Council officials had been favorable about the draft copy they received and the prospect of setting up an Emergency Services Authority between the two cities. There would be a savings for both cities with the combining of police and fire services.

In other action, the council:

- Presented a resolution to the Iron Mountain-Kingsford Rotary Club for their work on purchasing equipment and then the labor to put in the new playground equipment at the East Side Park. It was a $20,000 contribution to the city. Stanchina noted that this is something that the city financially would have been unable to do on its own, adding his appreciation of the Rotary Club's work.

- Agreed to a request from OSF Hospice to hold a celebration at city hall on Thursday, Nov. 1. The city council members support this effort to hold a celebration to remember the patients who have died in the past year and their families. They will gather at 11:45 a.m. with the ceremony starting at noon with the ringing of bells and chimes and a moment of silence. If the weather is inclement, the council gave permission for the group to hold this ceremony inside the city hall building.

- Approved the first pay request from Bacco Construction Co. for street paving for a total of $195,868.44. Stanchina noted that they have now completed the paving and the final request for payment should be coming in shortly.

- Appointed Joshua Villringer to an open position on the Iron Mountain Planning Commission.

- Agreed to pay $18,900 for topsoil for the new fields at City Park. Morin Excavating was the low bidder for 2,230 cubic yards of topsoil. This expense is part of the DNR Trust Fund grant monies the city has received for improvements to City Park.

- Appointed Tracey Rocconi of Rocconi Ace Hardware in Iron Mountain to an open seat on the Downtown Development Authority.

- Heard from Stanchina that Oberstar Inc. has completed the final water main tie at the intersection of Fairbanks and Kent streets. The service line to Ranger Field was the only utility work remaining on the 25 Location project. Grading has been completed on Pine, Houghteling and Tamarack streets with grading left to be completed on Kent Street. Stanchina added that the paving of the project remains on schedule to start on Oct. 23.

Linda Lobeck's e-mail address is



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