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City of Galt uses internal loans to save money

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Posted: Wednesday, June 5, 2013 12:00 am

The city of Galt can save tens of thousands of dollars by refinancing current bonds and replacing them with internal loans, according to recent staff research.

At Tuesday’s regular meeting, the Galt City Council unanimously voted to appropriate $935,000 from the General Fund to refinance the 2001 Police Building and Related Facilities Certificate of Participation bond and pay off the 1999 Wastewater Revenue Bonds using internal loans.

In a public offering, bonds are marketed on the municipal bond market by an underwriter and sold to investors. A private loan will be held by the city, saving it money.

Additionally, under the refinancing plan, the city’s General Fund will earn approximately $26,600 in interest revenue through restructuring, according to finance director Inez Kiriu.

Earlier in the meeting, council members discussed increasing the number of Planning Commission members from five to seven. But a motion by Mayor Marylou Powers and seconded by Vice Mayor Mike Singleton to do so failed 2-3, so the membership will remain the same.

The proposal to increase the number was officially discussed by the council in March, but they sought the input of the commission before making a decision.

When they discussed the possible change last month, the majority of the commission did not feel there would be enough benefit to the community to justify the additional $3,800 estimated annual cost to the city for stipends for the additional two commissioners, according to Sandra Kiriu, the city’s community development director and Planning Commission liaison.

However, she said, two planning commissioners felt that the group’s duties have increased since the former Architectural Review Committee duties were assumed by the Planning Commission. They also liked the idea of having seven members so it would be easier to ensure there would be a quorum if a commissioner needed to be absent from a future meeting, Kiriu said.

Contact reporter Jennifer Bonnett at jenniferb@lodinews.com.

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