Archive for Thursday, December 28, 2006

Loan OK’d to hasten signal’s installation

December 28, 2006

With the deadline passed to protest the formation of a benefit district to finance the city's first traffic signal, the De Soto City Council agreed to a loan last Thursday to speed the signal's installation.

Last month, the council agreed to form a benefit district to finance a traffic signal at Commerce Drive and Lexington Avenue. The action was subject to a 30-day protest period, which expired last week with nothing filed.

The benefit district the city council approved makes the city responsible for 55 percent of the signal's total cost with assessments of properties along Commerce Drive and 91st Street picking up the remaining 45 percent.

The winning bid to install the light from Wildcat Signal of Manhattan was about $40,000 less than the engineer's estimate. With a $10,000 contingency, the signal's total cost is $180,000.

City engineer Mike Brungardt said the city had already paid $42,000 for the signal's design and another $28,000 for the poles. An additional $80,000 was budgeted in the 2007 budget to pay for the city's remaining portion of the light.

Bonds, which will be paid off from assessments properties in the benefit district, will pay for the light. It would take some time to get the bonds in place, and it was expected the city would issue temporary notes to get the signal installed.

But at the suggestion of City Administer Pat Guilfoyle, the council agreed to temporarily borrow the money from the city's $2.5 million electrical utility fund until a bond is in place to pay for the signal. The move will save the city finance charges and interest on the temporary notes, Guilfoyle said.

Work on the signal will have to wait until the council adopts an ordinance borrowing the money from the electrical utility fund and formally accepting the bid for Wildcat Signal.The council also agreed to postpone repayment of a four-year-old $150,000 loan from the electrical utility fund to the water department.

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