The Ottumwa Courier

January 30, 2013

Supervisors plan to sell bonds

Sale should help process that covers county projects

CINDY TOOPES
Courier Staff Writer

OTTUMWA — Bonds, markets, hearings and publications.

And that was just a portion of what the Wapello County Board of Supervisors discussed during Tuesday’s meeting.

Supervisors Steve Siegel, Jerry Parker and Greg Kenning wanted to know more about their bond sale and timeline.

The supervisors contacted Tim Oswald of Piper Jaffray and asked him to attend this week’s meeting.

“The market has changed,” Oswald said, adding that next week’s sale should help the bonding process that covers Wapello County projects such as the improvements to Chillicothe Road and the communications tower for Wapello County’s two-way radio traffic.

Then, two weeks after that, there will be a hearing and a publication announcing what the supervisors plan to do.

Oswald said the bond sale will be March 4, and he believes the paperwork should be done by March 28.

After the meeting, Parker spoke of projects that are being worked on. He said the county has been able to resurface three roads because of funding and bonding that has been available.

The county has completed Rock Bluff Road improvements from the asphalt into Chillicothe. Parker said the road was a project for I-JOBS money in conjunction with the Chillicothe bridge.

“Now the bridge is complete, and we have to do the other part, which is Rock Bluff Road,” he said. “The bond issue will pay for paving that road into Chillicothe. And it’ll pay for three other roads that are hard-surfaced.”

He also noted the roads are farm-to-market roads and the state of Iowa gave them that designation. Years ago, the state did so because the designation meant it was a particular route farmers took to where their market was for selling the grain.

“The bond market is good right now. We will pay less in interest on the bonds than we pay for increased deterioration of the roads over the next three years,” Parker said.

About five years or so ago, the county passed a bond issue to do old Highway 34, which is now 87th Street. Now the county has another issue and can put the two together.

“Doing two at a time reduces bond costs,” Parker said. “Projected interest is so low and if we had waited, we would have to bond for more and these days the roads rot faster.”

Tuesday’s meeting starts the process, which will be completed in March. Even though the supervisors plan to do the bonding and the project, they still must hold a public hearing in February to see if the public objects or not.