Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Bond debt vote frees up money

BROOKSVILLE — At a time when every governmental dollar is stretched to the maximum, any savings are almost like a gift.

For years, the city of Brooksville has been carrying utilities bond debt with annual interest rate increases that have cost the municipality thousands of extra dollars.

The Brooksville City Council chose a different path Monday night when it voted to consolidate those bonds and refinance them into a single 15-year loan that will net about $657,000 in savings. The restructuring will also yield additional savings by reducing the amount the city has to contribute to its utilities reserve fund, said City Manager Jennene Norman-Vacha.

"We were lucky to be able to make it happen at a time when interest rates are very low and we could structure a deal that was to our advantage," Norman-Vacha said. "I'm not sure we would have been able to do it six months from now."

Norman-Vacha stressed that while the deal won't result in any "found money" for the city's coffers, it will free up funds that can be directed toward repairs and upgrades to Brooksville's aging utility infrastructure.

Mayor Lara Bradburn said that as is the case with many other municipalities that have been forced to trim expenses during the economic downturn, there has been less money for improvements to Brooksville's water and sewer lines, some of which date back to the late 1920s. She hopes the extra cushion the bond restructuring provides will help get the city back on track.

"It's not a cure-all, but it will definitely help," Bradburn said. "It's not a problem that's going to go away on its own."

The deal with allow the city to consolidate three water and sewer revenue bonds issued in 1999, 2002 and 2008, worth $9.7 million, into a single loan through SunTrust Bank with an annual fixed interest rate of 2.442 percent.

Vice Mayor Kevin Hohn, who suggested during a budget meeting last year that the city take a look at restructuring the bonds, said the interest savings alone will make the effort worth it.

"What we were paying on the debt service was crazy, more than 6 1/2 percent on at least one of the bonds." Hohn said. "Now we're paying a little more than a third that amount. To me, that's a win-win for the taxpayers."

Logan Neill can be reached at [email protected] or (352) 848-1435.

Bond debt vote frees up money 02/05/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, February 5, 2013 8:11pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Peter Budaj, Lightning lose to Devils in shootout; Nikita Kucherov scores

    Lightning Strikes

    NEWARK, N.J. — For Peter Budaj, Tuesday's season debut had a shaky start.

    The Lightning’s Vladislav Namestnikov, right, battles Damon Severson for the puck.
  2. Mother's testimony about toddler's death brings judge to tears


    TAMPA — Nayashia Williams woke up early on May 7, 2014, to the sound of her daughter calling for her. It was the last time the young mother's mornings would begin with a summons from Myla Presley, who couldn't yet climb over the mesh fencing around the playpen she used as a bed.

    Deandre Gilmore looks towards the gallery Tuesday in a Tampa courtroom. Gilmore is accused of killing the 19 month-old daughter of his girlfriend in 2014. He said the child fell while he was giving her a bath. [CHRIS URSO   |   Times]
  3. Speakers: Getting tough can't be only response to teen car thefts


    ST. PETERSBURG — Bob Dillinger remembers coming to Pinellas County as a legal intern in 1975. There were five major poverty zones in St. Petersburg.

    Wengay Newton, Florida House of Representatives (in front, in center), talks as a panelist to a packed room during a community forum on "Reclaiming our Youth: Is Juvenile Justice a Reality?" at the Dr. Carter G. Woodson Museum in St. Petersburg Wednesday evening (10/17/17). The event was presented by the Fred G. Minnis, Sr. Bar Association. Community leaders discussed the ongoing auto theft epidemic among Pinellas youth.
  4. Internal White House documents allege manufacturing decline increases abortions, infertility and spousal abuse


    White House officials working on trade policy were alarmed last month when a top adviser to President Donald Trump circulated a two-page document that alleged a weakened manufacturing sector leads to an increase in abortion, spousal abuse, divorce and infertility, two people familiar with the matter told the …

  5. Black entrepreneur says city stiffing him on project after he endorsed Rick Baker


    ST. PETERSBURG — A prominent African-American resident says his endorsement of mayoral candidate Rick Baker has led city officials to freeze him out of a major construction project along the historic "Deuces" stretch of 22nd Street S.