Munster council approves general obligation bond spending

2013-04-06T18:30:00Z 2013-04-06T21:17:39Z Munster council approves general obligation bond spendingLu Ann Franklin Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
April 06, 2013 6:30 pm  • 

MUNSTER | The Town Council recently approved using money from general obligation bonds to cover some capital improvement projects.

Such bonds are issued by municipalities through a bond counsel to raise money for various capital and infrastructure improvement projects. The bonds are sold to investors who receive repayment plus interest over the life of the bond, which may be 20 to 30 years.

Munster’s 2013 general obligation bond issue brought in $1.97 million. Street resurfacing related to the Wicker Park Estates and Schoon Ditch sewer separation project will use $1 million of the money.

“These funds will be combined with the 2012 bond, gaming and other capital funds,” said Town Manager Tom DeGiulio.

“I anticipate we will do over $2.2 to $2.4 million in street work.”

Additional streets outside that sewer separation area also will be resurfaced during the 2013 season, he said. That list was presented by Jim Knesek, director of operations.

“The plan is to complete Wicker Park, start on the residential list, complete Schoon Ditch after the separation is complete and move through the residential lists as funds are available,” DeGiulio said.

Sidewalks and curbs will be updated to meet with current Americans With Disabilities regulations using $200,000 from the 2013 general obligation bond.

Another $75,000 will be used to remove ash trees in parkways infected with the emerald ash borer. Other expenses using this general obligation bond include $250,000 for public works equipment; $250,000 for sewer rehabilitation; $75,000 for fire equipment; $20,000 for expenses; and $100,000 for police equipment.

The Town Council also approved spending of money left from older general obligation bonds on various projects. Those include the following:

• $311,226.83 from the 2006 bond – Funds are earmarked for intersection improvements on Calumet Avenue for the entrance of Community Park; the removal and restoration of South Lions Club Drive; the elimination of curb cuts for the Munster Public Library and Calumet Council Boy Scouts office; directional signage and needed sidewalk replacement in the park area.

• $83,124.29 from 2007 – These funds will be combined with other funds for the exterior landscaping and irrigation at the Munster Town Hall Ridge Road complex.

• $211,465 from the 2008 bond – Will be used for design and construction of Pennsy Path from Fisher Street to Calumet Avenue, to be bid late this year or early 2014.

• $118,892.03 from 2009 – Proposed use is to upgrade technology in the Town Hall’s main meeting room and conference rooms A-C and at Centennial Park. Interior lighting fixtures also will bring down energy costs, DeGiulio said.

• $150,000 from 2010 – Building improvements such as security cameras, new exterior and parking lights will be done at the Ridge Road government complex.

In reviewing the list of projects, the council authorized the staff to secure proposals for Calumet Avenue’s entrance to Community Park, the landscaping at the Ridge Road complex and the lighting and technology upgrades there.

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