The Oak Ridge City Council will consider a resolution this evening to issue up to $13.75 million in bonds so the city can build a new preschool and senior center, and make improvements at Scarboro Park as part of the preschool project.
The special meeting starts at 6 p.m. Monday, October 29, in the Oak Ridge Municipal Building Courtroom at 200 South Tulane Avenue.
Council approved an initial bond resolution of up to $16.5 million for the preschool and senior center projects during a meeting on Monday, September 10. That amount is higher than the amount of tonight’s bond resolution. Some savings have been realized compared to original estimates, Oak Ridge City Manager Mark Watson said in a memo to Council members.
Council approved construction contracts for the preschool and senior center projects during a special meeting on Thursday, October 11. The preschool will be built at Scarboro Park, and the senior center will be built at Alvin K. Bissell Park, just west of the Civic Center.
The general obligation bonds that the city could issue are a type of debt, and they could be paid off in 25 years, by 2043. If approved by City Council, the bonds could close by December 18.
The City Council raised the property tax rate two cents this year to help fund the projects, which have been discussed for years, and Watson said the future tax impact could be equivalent to eight cents. The current tax rate is $2.54 per $100 of assessed value.
The construction contracts approved earlier this month were worth $11.1 million total for the two projects. Both contracts were awarded to Jenkins and Stiles LLC of Knoxville. The preschool and Scarboro Park contract is worth up to about $8.4 million. The Oak Ridge Preschool is expected to be complete by November 30, 2019. The Oak Ridge Senior Center contract is worth up to roughly $2.68 million. It is expected to be complete by October 1, 2019.
Watson said the costs of an earlier issuance that funded architectures costs and initial construction costs to keep the preschool on schedule could be combined with the new $13.75 million bond issuance to free up roughly $1 million in previously obligated funds. The city has consulted with the Council’s Budget and Finance Committee, and they are recommending the un-obligated funding be used for a much-needed roof replacement at Robertsville Middle School, Watson said.
“The city has recently invested in the interior of the building,” he said. “Substantial roof improvements are needed to protect the investment and avoid leakage.”
See the agenda for the special meeting this evening here.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
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