The Bettendorf City Council accepted a bid for $10.28 million in bonds Tuesday night to help fund street and sewer projects as well as a new downtown parking lot and a putting course at Palmer Hills Golf Course.
Elizabeth Bergman, a director with the city's financial advisor BakerTilly, told the council that the city's bonds received five bids. "That's a good number in the market. There are a lot of deals in the market."
She said the winning bid was J.P. Morgan with an interest rate of 2.2972%.
Calling the bids "very competitive," Bergman said the city hasn't had a lower interest rate on a similar-length bond issue since 1990.
The three separate bond issues will fund these projects:
- $8.88 million for various public improvement projects in the city's FY 2019-2020 budget. City Administrator Decker Ploehn said the funding will cover a variety of the city's street, sewer and infrastructure projects planned for the 2019/2020 fiscal year.
- $700,000 for a new public parking lot in the city's downtown. It will be built on city-owned land between the new I-74 bridge and The Bridges Lofts. It would serve a future urban park under the new bridge as well as adjacent developments including the Bridges Lofts.
- $700,000 for an 18-hole putting course and related construction at the city-owned Palmer Hills.
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The bonds are scheduled to close in January 2020.
Ploehn said the city will re-pay the debt over 19 years. It will pay back $11.72 million including a net interest cost of $2.59 million.
He added said the city is selling the bonds now to get the design and engineering work underway completed on the projects so they can be bid in January or February.
"When we repay the bonds we want the percentage rate to be the lowest possible rate," Bettendorf Mayor Bob Gallagher said after the meeting.
He attributed the successful bond sale, in part, to the work of city staff and BakerTilly. "It shows the city's continuance to adhere to strong fiscal management policies," he said of the low rate.
In other business, the council voted 6-0 to approve a new amendment to its Downtown Master Plan overlay district that will prohibit certain kinds of businesses from locating in the downtown.
Businesses that now will be prohibited from opening downtown include tobacco, vape shops and/or CBD shops; tattoo/piercing parlors; storage units; automotive services; pawnshops; title loan or "quick cash" operations; storage/staging yards of any kind; and adult entertainment venues. Any existing businesses that fall in these categories would be exempted.
City leaders have said the goal of limiting certain businesses is part of a long-range goal to create a more walkable, pedestrian-friendly downtown for those who live, work and play there.