HAMMOND | The City Council on Monday approved an ordinance refinancing four sanitary district bonds with an outstanding debt of $11.9 million.

Marty Wielgos, sanitary district manager, said the bonds were taken out in 1997 and there is an opportunity to refinance them at a lower rate. The current rate of the bonds is about 3.6 percent. Wielgos said the district can bring the rate down to about 2.5 or 2.6 percent.

Wielgos said after fees are paid the net savings for taxpayers amounts to $300,000.

The council voted 7-0 in favor of the ordinance. Councilmen Anthony Higgs, D-3rd, and Homero "Chico" Hinojosa, D-6th, were absent.

In other news Councilwoman Janet Venecz, D-at large, said Hammers for Hearts, a Colorado nonprofit organization that travels throughout the country in areas of need making repairs to homes of elderly, low income and disabled residents, is in Hammond this week.

Venecz said over 260 teens and their adult sponsors will be working on 37 homes throughout Hammond.

Venecz also announced dates for two city crime watch meetings. The Pulaski Park Association will meet at 6:30 p.m. on June 24 at the American Legion, 617 Gostlin St. The Whiting-Robertsdale crime watch group will meet at 6:30 p.m. July 10 at Calumet College.

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Lake County reporter

Rob covers urban affairs and other matters in Crown Point, St. John, Winfield and beyond. Previously he covered Valparaiso, Hammond, Gary and East Chicago. He's also written for various magazines and pens a culture blog for The Times.