Wyoming will issue $2.5 million in bonds for bank, city hall project

Council vote is 4-1 with Linda Yeager opposed

Alice Pickering
Wyoming Reporter

The Wyoming City Council on Tuesday night, June 26 approved an amendment to its five-year capital improvement plan to issue $2.5 million in general obligation capital improvement bonds to finance the purchase the RiverBank building, renovate it as a city hall and fund construction at the current city hall site, which will will become a public safety center.

At least 80 residents attended the public hearing, which lasted three hours. Many were opposed to the plan because of the tax impact. One difference at this meeting involved more individuals speaking in favor of the plan.

The plan is to finance bonds over a 20-year period with an projected interest rate at about 2.779 percent. The $2.5 million will add some $50 a year in city property taxes on a house valued at $200,000.

Mayor Eric Peterson presented the economics of the city acting now to secure the building and expanding the city hall site. The city can bond for $2.5 million at the rate of 2.779 percent and pay $3.5 million over the life of the 20-year loan.

Waiting five years would take about $6.4 million to construct what is needed at a likely interest rate of about 7 percent. The cost of that loan would be about $11.9 million over the term.

Peterson’s estimate quadrupled the tax impact in five years.

City Administrator Craig Mattson said that in a couple of years, Polaris and Xccent will be paying commercial property taxes to the city.

The vote was 4-1 in favor of the action. Council member Linda Yeager voted against the amendment, saying the current business climate is not strong. She has consistently taken the position that the city should move slower.

Peterson, and council members Roger Elmore, Joe Zerwas and Steve Zerwas all voted in favor of the bonding.

Some residents had asked for this to be a referendum issue. The city presented criteria for bonding and can move forward with the project without a vote of the people.

Residents may request a reverse referendum. To do so a petition must be submitted within 30 days, with signatures of 5 percent of the total that voted in the last election and who are registered voters.

  • max anderson

    Council member Linda Yeager is a gladhander that has limited vision for the city and at best is a very poor choice for the postion she holds. Her vote against the city hall and public safety building are wrong, she should stop playing to her fan club and grow up and join the adult world of representing the people with sound decision making.

    Yeager’s wait until interest rates are higher & construction prices increase so we can pay more in the future attitude fits in with the failed city leaders of the past that operated the city treasury as a good old boys club handing out city backed loans and tax breaks like candy and did little to improve the city infrastructure or city image.

    It is time we move forward and leave the image as a backwater hick town behind us, the City Council and Mayor showed insight and courage in making this sound decision and deserve to be complimented on this forward thinking action which will save millions of dollars in the future..

  • luke

    why doesnt the city coucil pay for it there selves we do not want it

  • Max Anderson

    Luke

    Please let us know whom we is, or at the very who you are.

    I believe most taxpayers will be satisfied with intelligent decision making and well thought out long term planning shown by the mayor and council that serves the city well in finances and sound planning.

  • Arnold Lahd

    Max! I don’t always agree with you but I couldn’t have said it better but I’ll try.

    Our Wyoming shouldn’t be about Democrats, Republicans, liberals or conservatives, rich or poor. It should be about community and doing the right thing, the common sense and plainly obvious. Saving $6 – $10 million, by not building a new city hall and waiting into the future instead of buying a used building, now, is a smart, frugal use of precious tax dollars. Sadly Wyoming Tea Party ideology insists on no city money going towards infrastructure improvements. Make do regardless of us being the host to Fairview Lakes Medical Center, Xccent, Hallberg Marine, Polaris, Rosenbauer, and the Union House, to name just a few. Yet our city isn’t some jerkwater has-been, trapped in a proverbial Twilight Zone.

    Yet to hear Councilperson Linda Nanko Yeager, leader of the shutting Wyoming down movement, our best days are behind us. In full disclosure, I supported her election bid in 2008, and wrote a letter of support, seen here in January 2011, when she promised she could work harmoniously with our new mayor. Words, promises are something she holds cheap. Yeager, on one hand, says she’s concerned about Forest Lake Schools lack of adequate tax dollars while, behind the scenes, being the activist ring leader for the local tax revolt crowd. Sometimes she’s a rigid anti-tax zealot, other times a enlightened pour-money into the schools advocate, obvious cognitive dissonance. On the recent idea of a dedicated street improvement fund, Yeager cast the lone vote against the measure (12/2011), yet privately, days later, told me that she’s was for it, the “Wording was wrong”, she said (a technicality). Political posturing at our expense? She and her supporters talks of secret money accounts, hidden city agendas, the last mayor was bad, this mayor is bad and on and on. Conspiracy theories. Thankfully we elect new city officials in less then four months. We’ll let the voters decide, then, who best represents the ideals of our proud city. Meanwhile hats off to Joe Zerwas, Roger Elmore, Steve Zerwas and Mayor Eric Peterson.

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