The Denison City Council recently discussed financing for both past and future water projects.
In two separate actions, the council approved issuing $5.72 million in debt for 2019 water and sewer projects and a separate bond for $3.45 million to refinance previous debt from 2008 water projects. The new bonds come as the city is poised to complete a recent series of water system improvements that has spanned nearly a half decade and saw more than significant investment into the water and sewer systems.
“We are now in the fifth year of our capital improvement project plan for water and sewer projects,” Denison Finance and Administration Director Renee’ Waggoner said.
The city first authorized the series of improvements, which has included repair and overhaul of aging pipes and work at Randell Lake, in 2014. In order to finance this series of improvements, Denison approved a series of rolling increases to the city’s water rate each December from 2014 through 2018.
Marti Shew, representing Hilltop Securities, said the city was able to get the $5.72 million at a rate of 2.865 percent. Shew said seven bids were received, with more than three times the number of participating firms involved than a typical bond.
This year’s improvements include work to relocate and replace the city’s aging water tower at North Texas Regional Airport — Perrin Field. Initially, Denison had budgeted funds to reskin and surface the existing tower, but City Manager Jud Rex said it was more cost efficient for the city to completely replace the aging tower.
Rex previously said the tower would be relocated to another location outside of the airport, but did not specify where. However, there was talk of placing it at the site of the Grayson College tower.
Relocating the tower to another location would have a dual benefit of moving it out of the Federal Aviation Administration flight path while also putting it at an elevation that would help water flow and pressure, Rex said.
Other projects slated for this year include water lines along Theresa and West Loy Lake, other improvements to the water and sewer systems, and distribution and collection upgrades at the Parkdale elevated tower.
Shew said the rate was favorable for the city and just 0.06 percent above the 20-year low. The rate was also well below the weekly rate of 3.79 percent, she said.
The council also approved a second set of bonds, valued at $3.45 million, to refinance previous utility bonds from 2008. Shew said that rates have dropped significantly since the city issued that debt, and Denison was able to find a rate of 1.92 percent for the bond.
Waggoner said the city was originally projected to save $375,000 over the next 10 years by refinancing the debt, but this came closer to $388,000 once the final rate was determined.
What work would you like to see the city of Denison do? Let Michael Hutchins, the Herald Democrat’s Denison-area reporter, know at email@example.com or @mhutchinsHD on Twitter.