News Column

$7.5 million to be raised through bond sale

May 7, 2014

By Greg Larry, Cumberland Times-News, Md.



May 07--CUMBERLAND -- The city of Cumberland is moving forward on plans to raise $7.5 million to refinance debt accrued from a variety of water and sewer projects, complete street paving projects and purchase new vehicles and equipment.

The announcement of the bond sale was made at the regular biweekly meeting of the mayor and City Council held Tuesday at City Hall.

"It's all different type improvements," Grim said after the meeting. "It's infrastructure projects, water and sewer upgrades in different locations."

The proceeds will also service past financial obligations.

"It refinances old debt. So while it's true this is a 20-year-old loan, we are actually financing old debt that pays off debt that would have extended for several years anyway," said Grim.

The funds will be raised through the issuance of Local Government Infrastructure Bonds through the Community Development Act.

The city plans to use $2.6 million from the bond sale to complete major street paving work in the city.

"The exciting part about the bond is there is more than $2 million for street improvements money that we use this year," said the mayor.

The $2.6 million will be in addition to the normal expenditures made by the city for road maintenance.

"It will be in addition to what we already have budgeted at this point for streets."

Portions of the bond sale proceeds will also be used to fund a capital reserve fund.

Grim also said the search for a developer for 19 Frederick St., the former site of City Hall and the Allegany County Human Resources Development Commission, will continue.

The city had received two bids from interested developers during a recent solicitation for offers. However, those offers were deemed unacceptable.

"The two offers did not meet the expectations of council," Grim said. "We will continue to solicit public interest in what to do in that building as we move forward, particularly with the new economic development strategic plan. We're interested in making sure we can utilize it to the best public good possible."

Grim also commented on the ongoing litigation between the city and the International Association of Fire Fighters Local 1715. The city and the firefighters union have been locked in litigation over the expenditure of savings realized from the city switching health care providers.

"The city will continue to work with the firefighters. We will be attending mediation as instructed to do so. We will continue to work with them to negotiate a contract."

The blue ribbon winners selected by a panel representing the Let's Beautify Cumberland! organization were announced at the meeting. The properties were selected for their high standard of appearance.

The four winners were 112 Washington St., owned by Ray and Linda Shields; 1825 Frederick St., owned by Homer and Deborah Hartinger; 513 Henderson Ave., owned by Ronnie Michaels; and The Fairfield Inn and Suites at 21 N. Wineow St.

Greg Larry can be contacted at glarry@times-news.com.

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(c)2014 the Cumberland Times News (Cumberland, Md.)

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Source: Cumberland Times-News (MD)


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