By Ben Rodgers
HOWARD – Details of the Howard Commons project were ironed out at the Monday, March 12, Howard village board meeting.
The board unanimously approved a resolution authorizing and providing for the sale and issuance for $16.33 million in bonds to fund the first two apartment buildings in the project.
Trustee Ron Bredael was absent from the meeting.
“We’ve gone through the presentation a few times now, so this is actually locking in the interest rate and approving the debt issuance,” said Justin Fischer, senior vice president of public finance with Baird.
S&P Global Ratings assigned the village an AA- rating, which translated into 2.83 percent interest rate.
This is the second authorized debt issuance with the first in 2017 that was not to exceed $10 million.
Final phase bids, approved by the board, bring the total of the project to $26.33 million, which includes a $1 million contingency.
Roughly $700,000 of the $26.33 million was used for TIF No. 8 for road projects to improve the area.
If not used for the project, the contingency will be used to buy down the debt balance when the loan is refinanced.
The first interest payment for the loan approved on Monday will come in December 2018.
The board also unanimously approved a service agreement with Spectrum for the Howard Commons.
The agreement will allow residents the ability to purchase 100 mbs internet along with cable for $60 a month, with a 5 percent increase each year for five years.
“We will be OK for five years in terms of the internet speeds in the area and where they are going,” said Erik Goerke, CEO/owner of Alliance Management, the company that will manage the completed project.
The cost for the village will be roughly $40 per unit per month.
“We should be profitable when we get to 75 to 80 percent capacity,” Goerke said.
As part of the agreement, Spectrum will pay for the installation of cables in the building, which is anticipated to cost roughly $40,000.
Spectrum will also manage the bandwidth per user.
Tenants in the building can also choose AT&T for internet, but they would be responsible for any installation costs.
“At the same time we also want to provide choices,” Goerke said. “Some people work from home and their employers require certain connections.”
Howard Commons will also use new technology that allows for one satellite dish on the top for tenants who want satellite TV, instead of each unit having a satellite individually
“I think this is a very good concept in that the long run it will be beneficial both to the owners and the residents there,” said Ray Suennen, trustee.
Finally, the board directed staff to start of trial run of cardboard recycling at village hall.
The cost will be $70 per month for a dumpster.
Residents of single family homes or duplexes will be able to recycle cardboard there at no charge.
“A request did come to me and the request was from an individual who recently moved and had a lot of boxes, etc.,” Suennen said. “He also indicated at Christmas time they had too much. It’s not a matter of cutting it up; it would fill the recycle bin several times.”
The trial period will run through the end of the calendar year.