Council takes final step in building new fire station

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 25, 2003

Though city officials considered it only a formality, Ironton City Council took the final step Saturday toward funding the construction of the new fire station.

Council called two special meetings, one Friday and one Saturday, to pass the ordinance to allow the city to begin issuing $1.35 million in municipal bonds as quickly as possible.

"This is the final step so we will have the money in place while the construction is in progress," Mayor Bob Cleary said.

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According to the Bond Market Association, a municipal bond is a debt voucher, similar to an IOU, issued to raise money to finance public projects such as schools, highways and hospitals.

People purchase these bonds because the issuer pays interest during the life of the bond and repays the cost of the bond when it matures.

The investment brokerage firm of Seasongood & Mayer of Cincinnati, will begin selling the bonds by the second week of February. The city should have the funds in hand by the beginning of March, City Finance Director Cindy Anderson said.

Until these monies are received the city will use the $460,000 in Revolving Loan Funds that is already in the budget to pay construction costs. The city will also receive approximately $69,000 in Community Development Block Grant funds this summer, she said.

The ordinance had a first reading in Thursday's Council meeting, but because it had not been formally introduced in a finance committee meeting it could not receive second and third readings. A finance meeting was hosted Friday before the ordinance was heard for the second time Friday and final time Saturday.

Anderson said the city has been working on the paperwork for about two months, and that the bond will provide all of the remaining funds needed for the $1.9 million project. With approximately $300,000 already available and continuing to grow, the Fire Fee fund will be used to pay back the bonds and other debts.

The city will pay between 4.5 and 5 percent interest on the bonds that must be paid back in a minimum of 5 and maximum of 25 years, she said.

Construction of the 10,600-square-foot fire station began in December. It should be completed within a year.