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|Aldermen approve financing for infrastructure project|
The West Monroe Board of Aldermen signed off on the city's plans to sell some $3 million in bonds to pay for an infrastructure improvement project.
Aldermen acted on the matter Tuesday night at their regular meeting.
The law firm Foley and Judel of New Orleans will handle the city's bond sale before the state Bond Commission. Iberia Bank was the low bidder to serves as the official financial institution involved in the bond sale. West Monroe secured a 3.72 percent interest rate in repaying the bonds. It's a 10-year note.
"I am very pleased with the interest rate we got," said West Monroe Mayor Dave Norris. "I think it's excellent."
The bond sale will finance the city's plans to overlay a number of streets within West Monroe's corporate limits. Norris has not disclosed which streets will undergo the work.
Street work paid for by the bond sale is not related to street work and other infrastructure upgrades the city will pay for with federal stimulus money. West Monroe is in line to receive some $3.2 million in federal stimulus funding through the state's Urban Systems Program.
Federal stimulus money will be used to pay for improvements along Trenton Street, Travis Street, Crosley Street, Wellerman Drive, North 7th Street and Downing Pines Road. A time frame in which the city will tackle street work with federal stimulus funding has not been established.
On another front, the board of aldermen gave West Monroe Police Chief Christopher Elg permission to apply for a $46,228 grant to buy equipment for the police department. The grant is available through the Byrne Justice Assistance Act. The act is named in memory of a New York police officer who was killed in the line of duty.
Elg said he has not decided on which equipment the police department would buy with the grant if WMPD is awarded it. He said the police department was considering buying additional tasers. He also said the police department may buy a new radio repeater. Tasers cost $700-$800 each, according to Elg, while a new radio repeater cost some $10,000.
In other business, the board of aldermen:
• Authorized an ordinance to enter into a professional services agreement with Rebowe Fontenot Benefits Actuarial L.L.C. The city must contract with an actuary as part of complying with its annual audit. The city will pay Rebowe Fontenot $10,000 over a two-year period.
• Authorized an ordinance to enter into professional services agreement with Arthur J. Gallagher Risk Management Services. Arthur J. Gallagher will evaluate the city's insurance risks and offer solutions on how to improve them. The city was required to contact with a risk management company because the city's insurance company demanded it. The city will pay Arthur J. Gallagher $15,000 annually.
• Gave the Sam L. Farmer Jr. family 60 days to demolish a home at 1205 North 3rd St. Sam Farmer III appeared before the board of aldermen to request 60 days to handle the demolition.