City authorizes $14 million bond issue to build new fire station, install turf at Levitt Stadium and make park improvements

YORK – The City of York has authorized the issuance of $14 million in bonds in order to build a new fire station, install turf and make major improvements at Levitt Stadium, as well as some smaller park improvements.

Scott Keene, managing director in the public finance investment banking group at Piper Sandler, addressed the council and administration this week, to explain the process. Keene has long been a bonding consultant working with the city over many years.

He said this bond issue will be done in two series – one now, one mid-next-year.

He explained how “banks are big buyers of municipal bonds and this helps us save on interest rates.”
This process includes the pledge of LB 357 funds (special local sales tax receipts specifically for these types of projects) and unused taxing authority.

“The intent tonight is to authorize up to $14 million, not to exceed a 6 ½% interest rate,” Keene said. “The first series will fund Levitt and the first 40% of the fire station project. And as we watch interest rates, we will look to do the rest to complete the fire station funding. This will save some interest by pushing the second series back into next year. We are anticipating around a 5 ½% interest rate, if we are in an A category of rating. We have a very good story to tell so we expect a strong rating and interest savings.”

The bonding timeline, Keene said, is to have a call with the rating agency the week of Oct. 16; by Oct. 24 they will deliver the rating; and “we will go out to the market the next week. It will be a fairly quick process and then we will be back in the spring for the second round.”

In five years, the city can also refinance the debt for a different interest rate, if warranted.

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