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NY Mills gets 'A' bond rating, saves $47K

Thanks to bond refinancing, New York Mills' bond payments will be lower in 2013, easing the tax burden on citizens.

Since city bond payments have directly affected levy increases, City Clerk Darla Berry said when the bond payments are lowered; the annual tax levies are less likely to increase.

Announced at the March 13 city council meeting, the city's annual bond payment will be reduced by roughly $5,000, thanks to a recent 'A' bond rating which opened the door to low interest rates. Over the life of this bond, the city will pay $47, 316 less in interest.

Interest rates for a bond adjust each year through its life. The new bond interest rate range will be between .5 percent and 2.3 percent. The old rates were set between 4.2 percent and 4.6 percent.

The bond principal of $655,000 remains the same, however after interest the new repayment value is $710,777 compared to the old value of $760,622. The final payment will be made in 2022.

In order to secure these lower interest rates, the city had to hire a rating service and receive an 'A' rating.

For the cost of $7,500, Standard and Poor's Rating Service provided an opinion of stability based on a series of questions and documents provided by the city office. Standard and Poor's does not conduct an official audit.

Other topics at the NY Mills council meeting:

-Michael Pederson was hired as a full time member of the utility department, replacing Russ Buntrock, who retired.

-Part time NY Mills police officer Bruce Wangsness was put back on step pay scale after Chief Jim Van Schaick said Wangsness was earning less than the first year police officers even though he has been on the force for more than 10 years. He received a $1.47 per hour raise.

-Sharehouse, located across from Dean's Country Market, approached the city about buying the Straightline graphics building and land to expand its business. An offer of $75,000 was rejected, and a counteroffer of $110,000 was offered. If the counteroffer is approved by the Sharehouse board, the sale will be finalized.