After months of discussion, the Waupaca Common Council has decided to borrow for capital outlay.
At a special meeting on Sept. 27, the council voted 7-3 to borrow up to $660,000 from the State Trust Fund for capital outlay for the 2012 and 2013 budget years.
Aldermen Jim Boyer, Paul Lehman and Dave Shambeau voted no.
It will be a 10-year loan. In 2012 and 2013, the city will make interest payments only, paying nothing toward the principal until 2014.
Mayor Brian Smith said that “2012 and 2013 are the worst years. Our debt payments will be $571,000 less in 2014, even with this borrow.”
Much of the council’s Sept. 27 meeting was spent discussing each of the capital requests brought forward by the city’s department heads and then having separate votes on each proposed item.
Not every request made the cut, and in the end, the cost of the capital items that were approved totaled $709,500.
The council’s vote, however, was to borrow up to $660,000, because that was the amount noted on the council’s agenda – something Lehman brought up before a motion was made.
As a result, the council is expected to vote, during its Oct. 18 meeting, on borrowing an additional $49,500 so that the amount totals $709,500.
The approved capital includes $400,000 for street rehabilitation, over the two-year period.
“The Board of Public Works will come back with a list of projects and the rationale behind them,” City Administrator Henry Veleker said.
Some members of the council questioned approving $400,000 for street projects without first knowing what the projects will ultimately be.
Ald. Paul Hagen is the chairperson of that board and said, “We have a good idea of what we’re looking at. We will put them in order. If we wait to vote on this, it may inhibit getting started with the engineering.”
Boyer said, “It can wait a couple weeks,” meaning the council could make a decision during its Oct. 18 regular monthly meeting on whether to – and how much – to borrow for capital projects.
Shambeau asked if a few weeks makes a difference.
“Yes – at this time of year,” Hagen said.
Among the possible projects is one on South Main Street. The cost of the work would be shared by the city and Waupaca County, with the city’s cost estimated at $150,000.
John Edlebeck, the city’s director of public works, said that the county is ready to move forward with the project but has been waiting for city funding.
If the Board of Public Works and Common Council agree that the project should be done, Edlebeck wants the surveying and design work to take place this fall, before it snows, so that the project could go to bid next February.
“You get better prices in February,” he said. “You also have to time it with the county.”
Veleker asked if Edlebeck could start the survey and design work now. But Edlebeck said that until he knows what projects will be part of the $400,000 for street rehab, he cannot take that step.
“I tried several times,” Edlebeck said, “to get a list together, but the Board of Public Works would not without the funding.”
Read the full article in the Oct. 6 issue of the County Post West.