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Colfax authorizes proceeding with Bremer for $1.7 million revenue bonds

By LeAnn R. Ralph

COLFAX — The Colfax Village Board has decided to “keep it local.”

The village board authorized Brian Reilly of Ehlers and Associates at the May 13 meeting to proceed with negotiating an agreement with Bremer Bank for refinancing $1.3 million in water and sewer revenue bonds and adding $360,000 to the amount for financing sewer and water for the Park Drive extension and for painting and repairing the water tower.

In December, the Colfax Village Board approved issuing $1.3 million in general obligation bonds to refinance old debt and for new money for part of the Park Drive project and for the village’s share of the new fire station on county Highway M.

The 2004 revenue bonds carry interest rates of between 4.4 percent and 5.5 percent, which are considered to be high interest rates now.

Reilly advised the village board that he was comfortable with a preliminary agreement that he had received from Bremer Bank for refinancing and for the additional money.

If the Colfax Village Board chooses not to negotiate an agreement with Bremer, however, the revenue bonds also could be offered for public sale on the bond market, Reilly said.

The preliminary Bremer proposal is in line with where the market is right now, and the village might or might not do better offering the bonds at a public sale, he said.

The preliminary proposal from Bremer offers savings on 2004 revenue bonds and would not extend the life of the bonds, which would still mature in 2024, Reilly said.

The new money would be added in and would extend the bond repayment period until 2027, he said.

The Bremer proposal would offer approximately $102,000 in total cash flow savings for the water utility, representing a savings of $8,500 per year. The sewer utility savings would be approximately $63,000, representing a savings of $5,200 per year, he said.

The total savings would be about $165,000, Reilly noted.

Reilly said that during the next two weeks until the May 28 village board meeting, he would prepare legal documents and would obtain “hard and fast numbers” from Bremer Bank.

The Colfax Village Board unanimously approved a motion authorizing Reilly and Ehlers and Associates to proceed with negotiating an agreement with Bremer Bank for the refinancing and for the new money.

Other business

In other business, the Colfax Village Board:

• Approved a training request from Jackie Ponto, administrator-clerk-treasurer, for the 2013 Wisconsin Clerks, Treasurers and Finance Officers Institute June 26 through June 28 in Wausau.

• Approved a Class “B” fermented malt beverage license for the Colfax Softball Association for Tom Prince Memorial Park for the Bushwhacker Ball Tournament benefit for Willie Lange June 21 to June 23.

• Approved a kennel license for Olivia Justice and Christopher Castro, 706 University Avenue. Justice and Castro currently have four dogs (two Chihuahuas, one Husky and one German Shepherd mix).

• Approved a request to close Railroad Avenue at 605 E. Railroad May 18 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. for Don and Leona Ubbelohde.

• Approved a request from the Colfax Women’s Club to use the municipal building auditorium as a rain location for Music in the Park, which runs from June 30 to August 15. Music in the Park has used Colfax Lutheran in the past as a rain location and will continue to use the church. The auditorium would be a back-up location if needed.

• Approved a request for board members to attend the Wisconsin League of Municipalities new officials workshop and regional dinner in Eau Claire. Village President Scott Gunnufson and Village Trustee Mike Buchner are planning to attend the workshop on June 14. Village Trustees Beverly Schauer and Richard Johnson, along with Gunnufson, plan to attend the June 13 evening dinner meeting.

• Approved a proclamation declaring the week of May 19 as Emergency Medical Services Week.

• Approved a motion authorizing the Dunn County highway department to complete the PASER pavement rating report for Colfax that must be submitted to the state. The cost will be approximately $600.

• Approved rescheduling the next regular meeting on May 27, Memorial Day, to May 28.

• Approved a motion directing Ponto to contact other communities to find information on rates of pay for their plan commissions.

• Scheduled the Open Book on June 6 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

• Scheduled the Board of Review June 11 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.