The Oak Ridge City Council on Monday unanimously approved an initial bond resolution of up to $16.5 million to build a new Oak Ridge Preschool and Oak Ridge Senior Center, and redevelop Scarboro Park.
It’s not the final bond resolution for the projects. The initial bond resolution approved in a 7-0 vote on Monday sets a ceiling amount for the debt issuance. A second resolution, a bond issuance resolution, will be brought to City Council, possibly at the October 8 meeting, for the actual bond issuance amount.
The City of Oak Ridge has opened the bidding period for the two projects, which have a total estimated cost of roughly $16 million. That announcement was made Friday.
But the city doesn’t know yet what the actual bids will be. And it’s not clear how steel tariffs might affect the projects, Oak Ridge City Manager Mark Watson said.
The bonds, which will add to the city’s debt, would be repaid out of the general fund, said Oak Ridge Finance Director Janice McGinnis. The general fund includes revenues from property taxes and sales taxes. A few months ago, the Oak Ridge City Council adopted a two-cent tax rate increase as part of the fiscal year 2019 budget process to help fund the projects.
There could be additional tax increases in fiscal years 2020 through 2022 to help cover the annual debt service for the projects.
The Preschool and Scarboro Park improvements have a total estimated cost of about $12.5 million. About $11.1 million of that is for construction. The Preschool would be built at Scarboro Park.
The Senior Center has a total estimated cost of roughly $3.5 million. About $3.1 million of that is for construction. The Senior Center would be built just west of the Oak Ridge Civic Center at Alvin K. Bissell Park.
Both projects have been on the city’s wish list for years.
The bond resolution approved Monday included about $500,000 extra for the costs of issuing the bonds and for project contingencies.
Adoption and publication of the resolution starts a 20-day period during which a petition signed by at least 10 percent of the registered voters in Oak Ridge can be filed with the City Clerk protesting the issuance of the bonds, according to the resolution.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
See previous story here.
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