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Council weighing options for street funding

Posted: February 4, 2014 - 2:48pm

Conway has more than $25 million in street projects the city is currently committed to, including an estimated $18 million in street projects associated with the Central Landing shopping center project. On top of that, the city has identified about $43 million in street projects needed in coming years. On Monday, the Conway City Council talked about how to pay for it.

City Hall has prepared three street financing options for the council to consider, none of which involve increasing the current local tax rate but all of which include the issuance of bonds that would have to be approved by Conway’s voters.

The first is using the roughly $900,000 per year the city gets from the Amendment 91 statewide ½ cent sales tax to service about $5.4 million in bonds that would be paid off in 2023.

The second option is using half of the city’s ¼-cent “pay-as-you-go” tax currently dedicated for major street projects and police vehicles to purchase bonds worth about $25 million that would be paid off in 2044. The remaining 1/8 percent tax would be pledged as security and used for general purposes when not needed to service the debt.

The third option is to use refinance a ¼-cent tax currently divided between debt service and extra debt coverage/general revenue. The debt serviced by this tax is set to be paid off around 2020, but would be stretched out another 20 years in the refinancing, generating about $16 million in revenue.

None of the options would directly impact the city’s general fund, but would tie up the various streams of money for longer.

(Staff writer Joe Lamb can be reached by email at joe.lamb@thecabin.net or by phone at 505-1277. To comment on this and other stories in the Log Cabin, log on to www.thecabin.net. Send us your news at www.thecabin.net/submit)

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