The City of Abilene, Kansas issued $2.2 million in General Obligation (G.O.) Bonds to be used for the rehabilitation of First Street from S. Buckeye Street to the eastern corporate limits. The entire street project is estimated to cost $2.9 million and will be funded in part through a recently approved mill levy equal to five mills of ad valorem property taxes and other funds from the Stormwater Fund, Water Equipment Reserve Fund, and the General Fund.
The five mills were approved by the City Commission for the sole purpose of funding much needed street improvement projects throughout the City. The proceeds of mill levy increase will be used to pay principal and interest on the recently issued G.O. Bonds, Series 2011.
The City received an “A+, stable” bond rating from Standard and Poor’s prior to the bond sale. Triplett, Woolf, & Garretson, LLC of Wichita, Kansas served as Bond Counsel and Piper Jaffary served as Financial Advisor to the City for the bond transaction. The City Commission approved the sale of the G.O. Bonds, Series 2011 to UMB Bank at a rounded True Interest Cost of 2.37%. The City was anticipating an interest rate double what was provided by UMB Bank, effectively reducing the cost of the project to the taxpayers of Abilene.
The scope of the project is a complete rehabilitation of First Street. Schwab-Eaton, P.A. was selected for civil engineering and design services for the project. The firm is currently developing several design options for the City to consider. As part of the review process, the City is planning to host a public open house to provide the general public with an opportunity to review design options and comment on the overall project’s design.
Property owners having residences or businesses along the project corridor will also be invited to attend an open house so the City can obtain comments on the perceived impacts to their properties during the project. The dates for these public events have not been determined yet.
The City is working towards a fall bid letting for this project; the project is expected to take approximately two construction seasons to complete.
Questions regarding the issuance of G.O. Bonds, Series 2011 may be directed to City Manager David Dillner or Finance Director Eddie Balluch at (785) 263-2550. Project specific questions may be directed to City Engineer John Gough at (785) 263-3510.