Background: A company formed by Genesis Health System and WesleyLife are asking LeClaire to issue $10 million in bonds for a senior-living complex planned in Bettendorf.
Wellspire LLC is seeking a so-called "conduit bond," a type of financing cities often use to arrange financing for non-profits. They typically pose little risk to the municipalities and allow the cities to benefit from the projects they fund. Once issued, LeClaire would have no accounting or processing responsibilities with respect to payments by the borrower. The bonds as laid out in the memorandum are "limited obligations," and will be payable only by amounts received by LeClaire pursuant to a loan agreement between the city and Wellspire.
Conversation: City Councilor Dennis Gerard said in an interview that while the Council needed to "get familiar" with the concept, the decision is based on the question of whether the project is a worthwhile one. "It's a senior-living campus; the proximity is relatively close to the city of LeClaire," he said, noting it also wouldn't affect the city's legal debt limit. "It's really about if it's for us, if the Council feels it's a worthwhile project."
Gerard said the city would also make about $10,000 in an issuance fee.
At the Monday evening meeting where the memorandum was discussed, Mayor Ray Allen said the agreement had been "checked out" by legal counsel. They approved it, and an agreement would also be drafted for "extra insurance."
Next steps: The LeClaire City Council voted 5-0 during on a roll-call vote to approve the memorandum of agreement with Wellspire and set a public hearing for May 20 to discuss the issuance.
At that meeting, oral or written objections from any resident or property owner in LeClaire may be presented. Comments can also be submitted to City Hall, 325 Wisconsin St., LeClaire, by May 20.
In other business:
The Council voted 5-0 to award the contract for the City Hall/Library Plaza Repair Contract to Centennial Contractor of the Quad-Cities in the amount of $18,290. City Engineer Leo Foley said the repairs would be about the smallest that they could do to make it look "reasonable" for a couple of years. "That's a centerpiece, and it was to get those barriers down and make it look reasonable."
The Council voted 5-0 to approve the Tourism's Board media management solicitation request.
The Council approved 5-0 an agreement with the Teamsters Union allowing the police department to increase the pay rate for part-time officers. "It's not a change in the contract, it's a letter of understanding between the two parties," Police Chief Shane Themas said of the agreement.