San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

June 15th, 2009
Updated: More debt issue on council agendas

The San Marcos City Council will consider issuing about $50 million in bonds Tuesday night.

STAFF REPORT

(Editor’s Note: The following has been revised to note that the San Marcos City Council also will vote on its own compensation Tuesday night.)

Local city councils will consider large debt issues in their meetings Tuesday night.

In San Marcos, the city council will look at four separate issues of revenue bonds, general obligation bonds and certificates of obligation totaling more than $50 million. In essence, the city would issue $29 million in new debt and refinance about $22 million in existing debt.

Meanwhile, the Kyle City Council will consider $6.1 million in debt issue through tax note financing so the staff can make about 20 purchases that haven’t been provided by any other funding mechanism. The debt would be payable in seven years, a much shorter term than the 20-30 years on various bonds issued by various jurisdictions.

The San Marcos City Council also will vote Tuesday night on its own compensation. Voters approved such a move with more than 70 percent consenting in the November 2008 election. The proposal would have to pass two readings, the first of which will take place Tuesday night.

Under the proposal to be considered, the mayor would receive $750 per month, while each councilmember would receive $500 per month. More information about the council compensation proposal can be found here.

The largest debt issue in San Marcos is $24.5 million in certificates of obligation, for which the city published a notice of intent in 2009. The debt will fund water/wastewater improvements, drainage improvements, street improvements, and park improvements.

Another issue of $4.495 million in general obligation bonds will fund bike and pedestrian improvements, Donaldson Street improvements, and 81 RR overpass post realignment, Sessom Street reconstruction, improvements at Thorpe Lane and Hopkins Street, and Victory Gardens reconstruction. Voters approved the debt as part of $12 million in bonding initiatives during the November 2005 election.

The council also will vote on $10.015 million in bonds to refinance four issues of debt from 1999 and 2000 with hopes of saving money in the deal. Similarly, the council will look at still another issue for $11.8 million to refinance three water/wastewater bonds issued in 1996, 1999 and 2000.

In a matter that has generated interest since the last council meeting, the council will take a second reading of a measure that would allow citizens an optional weekend watering day, for those who miss their regular day during the week.

The matter is on the consent agenda, which means it will receive its own discussion only if a councilmember pulls it for that purpose. Council passed the measure on first reading earlier this month by a 5-2 vote, with Councilmembers John Thomaides and Gaylord Bose in opposition.

Advocates for the additional watering day say San Marcos citizens are conscientious about water conservation, while opponents say local water sources are running low during Stage 1 drought and conservation measures should remain firm.

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