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Road improvements funding in question

Posted: May 26, 2014 - 4:24pm

The need for future road projects in Conway are running alongside the inability to pay for them, and the Conway City Council will be looking at several options in order to make the changes happen during a committee meeting at 5 :30 p.m. Tuesday at the District Court building. A regular scheduled council meeting will follow at 6:30 p.m.

With the Prince Street project completed, work is now focused on two stages of the Western Loop as well as the Elsinger Overpass, Oak to 6th Street and the Elsinger Overpass to Harkrider. With a chance to complete all of these projects by 2016 in order to satisfy the owners of the future Central Landing shopping center, the council will be looking at options to pay for the improvements, which could include new bonds or moving priority of the quarter-cent pay-as-you-go-tax to the Elsinger Overpass.

With one option, the bond proceeds would be used for the Elsinger Overpass with the other projects being financed for about five years. Another option provides $16 million in construction funds with a bond payoff date of 2044. According to the report given to the council, “the only viable options are Option 2, or the combination of Option 1 and 2. These are the only ones that do not result in a deficit of funding in the pay-as-you-go revenue in any given year from now until 2021.” A third option would rededicate and split the current 1/4 cent pay-as-you-go sales tax and issue bonds backed with a 1/8 cent sales tax will fund all projects associated with Central Landing,

along with an excess of funding of about $6 million. This option generates $24 million in construction money while the funds needed for Central Landing are about $18 million.

The estimated payoff date of the bonds is also year 2044, as it is with Option 2. However it will also eliminate the pay-as-you-go sales tax’s ability to fund ongoing major street

projects due to committing 50% of that revenue to the bonds. As early as year 2016, the funding will not meet debt service requirements for 5-year financing of the other major street projects.

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BigDaddyD 05/27/14 - 05:36 am

F.A.P.: Federal Aid Project
Three little letters that can save the city a whole lot of money. Don't tell me Conway can't make the case for another overpass over I-40.
Nowhere in the article is federal or state aid mentioned.

Second point. Conway will sell the old airport property to help pay for the new one. Makes good business sense to me. However, it will cost 18 million to do this and this where the stupidity begins. Who brokered this deal? The same person who thought an outdoor Christmas tree should cost over 100K? Why even sell the property if it will cost you 18 million to get it ready?

Third point. Who cares about this mythical Western Loop? The 20 people per week who need to get to the airport in less than 30 minutes? Sounds like Tab is once again selling out the taxpayers for the benefit of a privileged few.

Lilly03 05/27/14 - 08:06 am
Who provided the report to

Who provided the report to the council with the 'only options'? I don't believe that was stated, can the LCD please clarify who provided the report.

Also, what about all the travel expenses that have taken place this year in a year where travel was pulbicized to be cut? Taxpayers never hear how all the benchmarking trips or conferences pay dividends to Conway, yet we do hear how we cannot get streets repaired. Transparencey should be demanded much more so than it is.

Thanks for (hopefully) digging into this.

Elmer Fudd
Elmer Fudd 05/27/14 - 09:55 am
Well Lilly03

the Council is nothing but a rubber stamping group anyway. Suggest all concerned either attend the meeting tonight or catch it on Conway Corp. channel 5. Eye opening if you have never done either.

justoffcenter 05/27/14 - 02:11 pm
Open sale beer....

and watch the money flow in.

David 05/28/14 - 11:35 am
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