Council Takes First Step Towards General Obligation Bond for 2014 to Fund Infrastructure

Last night the Council took the first step towards the issuance of $2M in general obligation bonds for 2014 to fund several critical infrastructure projects in Monroe County. At the beginning of budget hearings, the Council unanimously passed Ordinance 2013-25, which kicks off the bond timeline.

The following projects are identified in the Ordinance for potential funding by the bond:

  • Showers – waterproofing the foundation
  • Showers – tuck pointing, window sill repairs
  • Technology connectivity upgrade
  • Waterproofing Courthouse wall
  • Vehicles (2 prosector, 2 probation)
  • Movement of offices from One City Center to Curry, Curry to Showers and Community Corrections
  • Archives project
  • Jail remodel for medical ward
  • Jail control panel
  • Heating and cooling with zoning for county buildings
  • Karst Ellettsville connection trail
  • Proximity locks
  • Additional tornado siren
  • Ambulance purchase
  • Solar thermal hot water system for the Justice Building/Jail (Note: the official potential project list referred to this as a “solar thermal blanket”, but this was an error)

Note that these projects will likely far exceed the $2M available from the bond; as cost estimates are refined for each of these projects, the list will be refined and prioritized. The highest priority for the GO bond, however, is the urgent need for the repairs to the Showers and Courthouse buildings. The County owns a lot of old historic buildings, and unfortunately along with this comes a high maintenance cost.

This bond would raise $2M, which would be paid back in 2014.  It would be funded by an increase in property taxes for 2014 only (a rate that would automatically drop off at the end of 2014).

This vote was only preliminary; the next step is to conduct a public hearing, which is scheduled for the October County Council meeting, scheduled for October 8, 2013 at 5:30PM at the Nat U Hill Room in the Monroe County Courthouse.  At the public hearing, the County Council will hear presentations on the costs and benefits of the infrastructure upgrades and other capital purchases, and will take comment from the public on the request to issue the bonds.

I hope to have more information soon on the Commissioners’ proposals for these infrastructure projects.

Here are the documents that the Council considered:

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