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Perham City Council approves trail paving, bond sale

Also at its meeting on Monday night, the Perham City Council approved a bid for $45,000 to complete the paving of the Cal Miller Bike Path.

The cost of paving had originally been among possible budget cuts identified by City Manager Kelcey Klemm following a loss in local government aid (LGA). However, Public Works Director Merle Meece said now is a good time to complete the paving process because prices are favorable for the city.

Meece said the city could then delay the purchase of a new utility cart and lawn mower (a total cost of about $25,000) to try and offset for the cost of paving.

Klemm said he would then look at coming up with new potential budget cuts after taking the paving off of the table. He said he would present the new options to the council at next month's meeting.

In all, the council will need to approve a total a little more than $153,000 in budget cuts.

Bond sale

The city also authorized the sale of $990,000 of bonds to assist with financing the 5th Avenue SE project and the Third Street NW/Lake Avenue project. Mark Ruff from Ehlers Financial Planning presented to the council a final bond sale report.

The bond sale, Ruff said, was rated at a level of A1 by Moody's.

"That's a good rating for a community of your size," he said.

The bonds will be sold to Northland Securities of Minneapolis, who came in with a lower interest rate bid than originally projected. Overall, the interest rate for the bonds figured out to be 2.5 percent.

"To be able to borrow money at 2.5 percent is a good deal," Ruff said.

Moody's analyzed Perham's finances in a report, and Ruff said the organization was complimentary of the city's recent tax rate increases and population increases.

City Engineer Jade Berube later told the council that the 5th Avenue project would be getting underway in about two weeks.

The next regular city council meeting is scheduled for Monday, Sept. 12 at 5:15 p.m.