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Board talks water bond sale, schedules public hearings

Crews work Monday, July 16, on the footings of the base for the new water tower being constructed in Centennial Centre. The tower is expected to be online sometime in late 2019, early 2020. Photo Courtesy village of Hobart

By Ben Rodgers

HOBART – The Hobart village board discussed the sale of bonds to pay for a new water tower being constructed at the Tuesday, July 17, meeting.

Water system revenue bonds totaling $2,175,000 were sold before the meeting started to finance a new water tower in Tax Incremental District (TID) No. 1 (Centennial Centre) along with improvements to the water system in that part of the village.

Based on current projections, the TID will be able to repay the entire amount of the bonds, said David Anderson, director with PFM Financial Advisors.

The debt is structured over a 20-year period, which is expected to outlast the life of the TID. However, the village will be able to pay off the remainder when the TID closes, he said.

The village also saved $214,510 in debt service payments from what was estimated due to a lower than anticipated bid from Bernardi Securities, Chicago, offering a true interest cost of 3.42 percent.

This is the first time Hobart has issued water service revenue bonds, and Anderson said the result of the bids is positive.

“You got a real good bond rating with an A+ plus,” Anderson said. “This is the first time you’ve issued water service revenue bonds; to come out of the gate with this is unbelievable.”

Also, by issuing revenue bonds the village will be able to preserve its general obligation debt capacity, Anderson said.

“Our initial goal was to be able to construct the water tower and all the improvements, and not generate a water rate increase, and we’re still on target to hit that goal,” said Aaron Kramer, village administrator.

The board also approved the sale of approximately $1,015,000 in taxable general obligation promissory notes.

These bonds would be taxable, unlike like water service revenue bonds, because the developer would guarantee payment.

Developers in the area could borrow these notes for construction of future development.

“We hope this $1 million translates to between $8 to $10 million (of taxable value) in this TID,” Kramer said.

At the meeting the board also revoked a conditional use permit, approved an ordinance amendment and scheduled five public hearings for the next meeting on Aug. 7.

The revoked CUP was for a shingle recycling business on County Trunk GE.

Kramer presented the board with multiple forms of evidence that the business is in violation of terms of the conditional use, as well as solid state laws from the state of Wisconsin.

“With that staff feels the evidence is overwhelming they are in violation with the CUP,” Kramer said.

The amended ordinance relates to ground signs, electronic message centers and temporary signs and allows for larger and taller signs for improved visibility.

Two of the five public hearings relate to estate fences that would exceed the maximum height in the front yard, one at 4735 Fonda Fields and one at 4590 Choctaw Court.

The third public hearing relates to storage warehousing as part of a proposed development in Camber Court in south Hobart.

The fourth public hearing relates to the revocation of a CUP approved in 2012 for a semi-tractor and trailer repair and welding fabrication shop at 3670 West Mason St.

Finally, the fifth public hearing relates to a rezoning of 2037 Green Acres Court to R2R-rural residential as a condition of a certified zoning map.

At the meeting the board also approved a certified zoning map that created parcels for business and industrial development for lots on Packerland Drive.

The board learned about a potential water rate increase of 9.1 percent for 2019 from Green Bay Water Utility.

“It’s not the best news to share with you, but we’ve got to let you know early on in the ball game,” Kramer said.
Hobart uses water from the utility so the village is subject to any increased costs, if approved by the Wisconsin Public Service Commission.

“What is the alternative? We build our own water system?” Kramer said. “I can assure you rates will go up more than 9 percent. Our own sanitary sewer system? Millions. There is no Plan B.”

Read The Press next week to learn about the capital projects plan for 2019-2023 that was approved by the board at the meeting.

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