The village of Brookfield is looking to save about $200,000 over the next nine years by refinancing debt certificates it sold in 2003 and 2004 to pay for road improvements and acquiring land for Jaycee/Ehlert Park.
Kane, McKenna and Associates, Brookfield’s financial consultant, notified the village last month that the village might be able to save a little more than $20,000 per year in debt service payments if Brookfield issued alternate revenue bonds backed by a dedicated revenue stream to replace the debt certificates, which have higher interest rates than the bonds.
That dedicated revenue stream could come from utility taxes the village collects annually. Presently, the payments on the debt certificates are paid through the village’s general operating fund. The utility taxes are part of the general fund. This new arrangement simply formalizes where the money is coming from.
“Bonds secured in this manner are in more demand in the marketplace, and that results in the greater savings,” wrote the firm in a memo to the village on Oct. 24.
In 2003, the village issued $6.3 million in debt certificates to finance road improvements. A year later, another $1.5 million in debt certificates were issued to fund the purchase of land from Lyons-Brookfield School District 103 to enlarge Jaycee/Ehlert Park.
Of those two bond issues, the village owed roughly $4.6 million as of Dec. 31, 2012, according to the village’s financial audit.
On Oct. 28, the village board was asked to consider approving the sale of not more than $4.4 million in alternate revenue bonds to replace the two debt certificate issuances. The bonds would be paid off in 2022, which is the same date the 2003 debt certificates were due to mature.
The $4.4 million figure includes costs for refinancing amounting to about $65,000 for services provided by the financial advisor, bond counsel, bond rating service, attorneys and fees.
Village trustees appeared to agree generally that utility taxes, which in 2012 amounted to about $1.4 million, could be set aside to pay the debt service on the bonds. Annual debt service on the debt certificates has been a little less than $500,000.
The village board on Nov. 11 is expected to pass what’s known as an “authorizing ordinance” to begin the refinancing process, which would culminate a month later on Dec. 9 at a public hearing. That public hearing begins a 30-day period during which citizens can petition to force the refinancing to referendum.
If there’s no public petition campaign to force the refinancing to a village-wide referendum, the village board would vote to approve the bond sale on Dec. 16, with the sale taking place the following day.