City's refinance frees up money for projects
by Nick Rappley | Patterson Irrigator
Dec 05, 2013 | 1239 views | 0 0 comments | 27 27 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The City of Patterson recently completed a refinance of bonds issued for infrastructure improvements in West Patterson over the last 10 years for the Heartland Ranch and Walker Ranch developments.

More than $5 million were garnered by restructuring bonds, lowering interest rates, according to Mark Pressman, the city’s financial advisor and City Manager Rod Butler.

$334,000 annually will be returned to help slightly lower tax rates in the two areas, which have community facilities districts, set up to tax for infrastructure improvements, such as parks, curbs gutters, sidewalks and streets.

$3.9 million of the bonds in Walker Ranch are considered restricted and must be used within the community facilities district while $1.44 million are unrestricted. An additional $890,000 were garnered from the refinance of Heartland Ranch. The money will go to projects that benefit the community, such as a potential combination teen and community center. Some $400,000 will be used to produce a well for the western part of Patterson that would help offset costs incurred in the area for landscape maintenance. Butler said currently the west side part of the community landscape maintenance district actually draws money from the general fund of the city to help offset cost overruns. The well would help alleviate the problem, he said.

The money would also go to a public safety center to house police and firefighter administration on the west side of Patterson.

Not everyone was happy about how the money will be used.

Patterson resident Michael Jones told the City Council in public comments Nov. 19 that more money should have been used to offset burdensome tax rates in the two developments.

“I’m not sure everyone would agree to not return at least some more of those funds,” he said, noting that the city could’ve shortened the length of time on the refinance or lowered tax rates more.

Butler said that more money is needed for improvements.

“It was really a decision that was considered carefully for the best long term benefit of the community to fund some needed facilities, rather than exclusively using the savings to lower rates,” he said.

Contact Nick Rappley at 892-6187, ext. 31 or nick@pattersonirrigator.com.

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