Council to borrow funds for projects, to refinance

January 17, 2019

The Watertown Common Council approved the sale of approximately $3,145,000 of promissory notes during its meeting Tuesday.

The city plans to borrow $2.5 million for capital projects in the 2019 budget and refinance $645,000. The potential interest rate for the city would be 3.22 percent.

Justin Fischer of R.W. Baird told the committee the city has an excellent bond rating of AA3 and that interest rates have dropped but the market is volatile, which makes municipal bonds a safe place for investors and could be beneficial to Watertown for borrowing in 2019.

The committee agreed to pay off about $5 million in existing debt this year and borrowing $3.1 million in new debt.

The council approved a number of resolutions on its agenda.

The council approved the carryover of $729,253.14 for the fiber optic project from the 2018 budget to the 2019 budget. The Finance Committee approved this in a meeting before the council met.

“We just had a bit of a boo-boo and forgot to carry this over,” Mayor John David said. “The funds are there, it’s just not carried over on paper â€? ”

One resolution authorizes the naming of the town square to be included on the spring ballot for the election on Tuesday, April 2. The eight names voters can vote on are Generations Landing, Times Square, Times Terrace, Main Street Square, River Central, Rock River Green, The Quarter at Towne Center and River City Commons.

Alderman Rick Tortomasi asked if there would be any additional cost to place this on the ballot and David said it would be about $500.

Another resolution authorizes a three-year agreement with the village of Clyman for the collection of solid waste and recycling. Residents of the village will pay $16.73 per month.

Members of the council approved the authorization of a one-year agreement with the town of Ixonia to dispose of mattresses and box springs for $20, carpeting and padding for $6 per cubic yard and brush and yardwaste for $4 per cubic yard.

Streets Superintendent Randy Franks said the city has had an agreement with the town of Ixonia in the past but this now makes it in the form of a contract.

The council approved a service agreement with the Watertown Humane Society for 2019. Under the agreement, the city would agree to pay the society $59,000 in four quarterly installments of $14,750 in 2019.

″$59,000 to provide that level of service for animals within our city, we’re getting our money’s worth,” Alderman Ken Berg said.

The council also approved the 2019 Sidewalk Repair Area provided by the Watertown Public Works Commission. The areas in the resolution included two blocks north of East Main Street from North First Street to North Eighth Street. The north side of Jones Street was not included at this time.

The council was given the 2018 yearly construction totals report and a list of candidates for the spring election. The aldermen approved the appointments of Brad Kuenzi and Dave Zimmermann for second terms on the Watertown Redevelopment Authority.

The council approved an agent change for Pick ’n Save at 624 S. Church St.

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Cassandra Schug gave a brief update on the library expansion as a Watertown Library Board of Trustees member.

The Watertown Public Library has raised $1.3 million for its efforts to meet the matching grant opportunity from the Greater Watertown Community Health Foundation.

“We need to receive pledges for $1.5 million to receive a $1 million grant,” Schug said. “This is in addition to the $1.5 million pledged for the fourth quarter of 2019.”

Schug mentioned City Attorney Rose Simon-Silva is reviewing a contract with an architect from Studio GC for the expansion project.

“This takes time and careful consideration,” Schug said. “We want everyone to know that we continue to move forward as planned.”

Two fundraisers are planned to benefit the library. Yes! Watertown will have a concert on March 16, featuring Bad Medicine, a Bon Jovi cover band. All proceeds will go toward the expansion and renovation project.

In addition, Schug said $5 will be donated by Total Waste Solutions for every three-point shot made by the Watertown Goslings boys basketball team.