Council Prepares Public Works Move

The West U City Council on Monday approved advertising $3.050,000 in certificates of obligation to fund the relocation and reconstruction of the Public Works Maintenance Facility from 3826 Milton Street to the former West U RecycleExpress at 5004 Dincans Street.

Mayor Bob Fry said, however, that the cost to build the new facilities will be less than the $3 million.

City officials earlier estimated that the cost of a new Public Works Maintenance Facility would be about $2 million, or about $1.32 more per month in tax for the “average” West University Place resident.

Certificates of obligation are a streamlined method of financing municipal projects that do not require voter approval. The city will repay the debt “from the levy and collection of ad valorem taxes in the City as provided by law, and from a limited pledge of a subordinate lien on the net revenues of the City’s water and sewer system. “

The certificates of obligation also are being issued to fund “the property exchange related costs with the West University Baptist Church.”

The city and the church are involved in real estate negotiations over the Milton property, as part of a long-range plan for municipal facilities. Those negotiations involve a possible land swap of the Milton property for church-owned property on Amherst.

The real estate negotiations would clear the way for the city to build a campus of municipal facilities on the so-called “Super Block” between University, Auden, Amherst and College.

That proposal has been controversial, but city officials cited a recent public opinion survey that showed 49.3 percent of residents surveyed support the long-range plan.

The certificates of obligation will be used for the “purchasing and constructing the Dincans Public Works Maintenance Facility, including a new animal shelter and the purchase of properties associated with the municipal block and for paying legal, fiscal, engineering and architectural fees in connection with such project.”

The City Council will consider issuing the certificates of obligation at a meeting that is currently scheduled for May 4, 2015, at 6:30 p.m., at the Municipal Building.