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‘Money ... back into your coffers’

Refinancing equals big savings for Princeton

PRINCETON — The Princeton City Council has refinanced four outstanding bond/loan issues which will result in a savings of $870,000 in interest payments over the combined life of the four issues.

The council took the action at Monday’s meeting in City Hall after hearing from John Vezzetti, assistant vice president for Bernardi Securities Inc., who handled the refinancing process for the city.

Vezzetti said he wanted to publicly thank Princeton City Manager Jeff Clawson for his work in preparing the needed information for the refinancing process, which began about a year ago.

The refinanced issues include a 2003 bond which was originally issued at 4.3 percent but was refinanced at 3.21 percent; an Illinois Environmental Protection Agency loan, originally issued at 2.65 percent and refinanced at 1.77 percent; a debt certificate issued in 2008 at 4.11 percent and refinanced at 2.9 percent; and a loan for the electric department, refinanced in 2011 at 4.2 percent and now refinanced again at 1.75 percent.

“This is roughly a savings of $870,000, which is money you can put back into your coffers; money which is not being spent on interest costs,” Vezzetti said.

The four refinanced bond/loan instrument series were $1.75 million in outstanding water revenue bonds, $3 million for the wastewater treatment facility, $3.85 million for the 133-acre logistics park purchase, and $3 million for capital projects for the electrical plant and system.

Vezzetti said there are more refinancing opportunities in the near future for the city. If interest rates remain about the same. Refinancing other loans could result in an additional savings of $400,000 to $500,000 for Princeton, he said.

Mayor Keith Cain thanked Vezzetti and his company for their work to get the refinancing bonds sold ... “$870,000 is a pretty good chunk of money to save,” Cain said. “This is one step we can take to save a lot of money. Hopefully, this next year we can refinance other loans if the interest rate stays down, and we can save another $400,000 to $500,000.”

In other financial business at Monday’s meeting, the council approved the second reading and adoption of the 2013-14 city budget, which projects total revenue for the city for the 2013-14 fiscal year at $32,676,846 and projected total expenses at $32,798,846.

As reported earlier, the city budget is balanced in all funds except the water and garbage funds. Clawson has said the budget will take $63,000 from the garbage fund reserves to balance the garbage fund and $59,000 from the water fund reserves to balance that fund. He does not anticipate either of those funds to require the use of reserves in future years.

Also, the council appointed Jan Bonucci to the Princeton Plan Commission and Zoning Board of Appeals to replace Katie Chamberlain. Bonucci’s term will expire April 30, 2016.

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