Capital projects proposals to be reviewed

The city administration has proposed financing that would pay for $15 million in city building projects, but City Council’s leadership is making clear all proposed projects will be reviewed thoroughly before any decisions are made.

“We’ll have to wait and see,” Council President Bill Hall said one day after the administration’s announcement of the refinancing and capital projects plan.

Hall said he’d like to hold off on any discussion during tonight’s meeting so he and others on council can review the refinancing package, which Mayor Gabriel J. Campana and his department heads gave to the city finance committee Tuesday.

Hall said street repairs and reconstruction should be a top priority.

William E. Nichols Jr., city director of financing, said he is pursuing ways to restructure city debt that includes borrowing $1.9 million.

“Yes, it’s adding debt,” Nichols said, “but the debt service – depending on how the refinancing is done – would be close to what we’re paying now.”

Nichols said the city debt service would not exceed $500,000.

The projects include upgrades to Bowman Field, improvements to the city public works building site, construction of the Trade and Transit II parking garage and some elements of the Destination 2014 project at the YMCA facility and nearby lots.

Rather than combining the projects into one package, Hall said he would prefer looking at each one based on its merits.

Councilman Jonathan Williamson, chairman of the finance committee, agreed that the preferred method will be to look at the presentation, read it thoroughly and go over the individual projects one by one to see what is the best way for the city to pay for them.