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Court facility funding discussed
City Council plans to borrow $35 million for new courthouse facilities.


Date published: 10/12/2011

BY ROBYN SIDERSKY

The Fredericksburg City Council discussed the city's Capital Improvements Plan and financial projects for the next five years in a work session last night.

The plan includes debt service for the new court facilities the city expects to have built by 2014.

The projected bond issue for the courts complex is $38.7 million, with $35 million issued for the courts and $3.7 million that re-funds existing debt.

The bond would be issued over 25 years, with a sale in December or January 2012.

For fiscal year 2012, the city won't do anything with the bond. Then, in fiscal year 2013, it will pay about $1.2 million in interest.

From 2014 until 2020, the principal will be amounts roughly between $1.005 million and $1.14 million each year. The interest will be nearly as much, with the total for each year about $2 million.

Assistant City Manager Mark Whitley, who gave the presentation to the City Council, said that the city will save about $8.8 million over the life of the issue, thanks to a low interest rate of 3.93 percent.

The city will likely defer to the next bond issue to borrow money for renovations for the Renwick building, where the circuit court is currently housed.

According to Whitley's presentation, the city plans to borrow $4 million in the first issue of fiscal year 2015 for the Renwick renovations.

In addition to the bond issue for the courthouse facilities, the city plans to have two other bond issues through fiscal year 2017.

In fiscal year 2015, the city will borrow $18 million:

$13 million for school maintenance;

$4 million for the Renwick renovation;

and $1 million for the Alum Springs Park bridge.

The building of the bridge was questioned by several council members. To enter the park by vehicle now, you must drive through water. Building a bridge will change that.

Whitley said the issue involving the proposed bridge would be discussed later.

The bond issue for fiscal year 2017 would be $20 million. The city would use:

$10 million for water and wastewater work, including line replacements;

$5 million for a new fire station in Celebrate Virginia;

$2 million for Riverfront Park;

and $3 million for work on the library downtown.

Council members said they were glad to have a plan in front of them.

On Nov. 8 the council will hold a public hearing on the plan, and it will go to second reading on Nov. 22.

Robyn Sidersky 540/374-5413
Email: rsidersky@freelancestar.com