Walsenburg refinancing 2007 bond issue will save ratepayers thousands

By David Rinehart –(Published: July 20, 2017) The City of Walsenburg will be saving about $550,000 in loan payments over the next 15 years after council approved Ordinance 1101 at their regular meeting Tuesday.

The Ordinance governs the issuance of new bonds at a lower interest rate to pay off the old bonds. “We are not extending maturity dates,” Finance Director Mark Ellis told council.

The original $9,700,000 bonds, issued in 2007, were not set to be completely paid off until December 1, 2032. The city has been paying down the principal balance on the bonds and currently has $8,180,000 outstanding at varying interest rates between 4.25 and 4.75 percent.

With the new bond issue, the city will be borrowing $8,500,000 at an interest rate of 3.4 to 3.67 percent—depending on the market when the bond issue is completed.  The $320,000 increase in principal will be more than offset with savings on interest payments over time.

In other business, council accepted Wahatoya Farms request for annexation, and declared it in compliance with city standards. The Planning Commission will be discussing the details at a meeting August 8, with council setting a public hearing and addressing the application in September. The 5.71 acre parcel that may be added to the city, lies at 25462 Highway 160, west of current city boundaries.

“It could be annexed by the end of October,” Interim City Administrator Steve Rabe said.