This year's street projects in Brainerd could cost less than anticipated.
Brainerd City Council members Bob Olson and Mary Koep on Tuesday met with city staffer and found the means to reduce a bond issue for several projects from $3,340,000 to $2.7 million, a savings of $640,000.
"That is money in the taxpayers' pocket, no matter how you look at it," Koep said Wednesday.
Whittling the bond issue started Monday at the regular city council meeting.
The council mulled a $3.1 million bond issue for the downtown reconstruction project, South Eighth Street utility improvements, sidewalk improvements and Northtown West.
Council member Bob Olson suggested reducing the bond issue by $500,000 by using the city's construction, sewer availability and water availability funds to pay off interest on the bonds and other expenses.
Instead, the council approved reducing the bond by $400,000 but added in $300,000 for northeast Brainerd street projects, for a total bond issue of $3 million. Though in the bond, the northeast Brainerd streets would be paid for by those property owners.
On Tuesday, Olson, Koep and staff identified an additional $140,000 by charging water-related work on the downtown and South Eighth Street projects to Brainerd Public Utilities and through other miscellaneous expenses, City Engineer Jeff Hulsether said.
It also was determined that the assessments for northeast Brainerd streets would be about $240,000, not $300,000, he said.
Taking into account the $500,000 in reductions previously proposed by Olson, the total reduction to the bond will about $640,000.
"That's the bottom line," Olson said. "We got a good deal for the taxpayers. The end result is we got a big savings for our taxpayers."
The $2.7 million bond issue will be considered by the council at its May 18 meeting.
Koep credited Olson's work at identifying ways to lower the bond issue and staff for their diligent work with the council to save the city money.
"I think we should be so proud," Koep said.
Olson also complimented staff for their work and thanked council for its approval of the bond issue.
MATT ERICKSON may be reached at email@example.com or 855-5857.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.