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Home News-Telegram News Council approves bond funding for downtown improvements

Council approves bond funding for downtown improvements

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City Council members Tuesday night approved issuing $4.4 million in bonds to fund downtown improvements.

It was the second reading of the ordinance tied to the Tax Increment Financing Reinvestment Zone #1, which will use increased tax revenue created by rising property values to fund downtown improvements.

Plans include reconstructing the streets and sidewalks in and around downtown, using architectural elements and construction methods employed in rebuilding Main Street, as well as replacing all sewer and water mains found to be “economically depleted.” Other elements of the work, most of which could be completed within the next five years, include designing and creating a park for the downtown square and designing and constructing a covered central market on Main Street.

The bonds would ultimately be paid for with property tax money generated by the expected increase in property values as the downtown area undergoes improvement.

City Finance Director Peter Karstens reminded those in attendance at the meeting that the plan does not create a new tax, nor does it increase taxes, except by spurring increased economic activity and property values downtown.

Mayor Oscar Aguilar also presented outgoing Councilman Garry Jordan with a plaque in appreciation of his years of service to the city. Jordan was defeated in the May muncipal election by Craig Johnson, who was sworn in as Place 1 City Councilman Tuesday night.

Jordan reminded council members to always cast votes that represent the views of their constituents.

“There are times it seemed I may have voted against you,” he said. “But I wasn’t voting against you — I wanted to vote for the people I represented.

“It’s been a great time, but I’m looking forward to spending that extra night a month” with his family, Jordan said.

 

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