The Edmond Sun

July 23, 2013

Multi-million dollar note approved by EPWA

James Coburn
The Edmond Sun

EDMOND — A $7 million revenue anticipation note between the Edmond Public Works Authority (EPWA) and the Hospital Trust Fund was approved this week by the Edmond Public Works Authority for the partial funding of the Public Safety Center.

The EPWA also authorized the sale of a sales tax revenue note, not to exceed $22 million for PSC financing purposes. The Finance/Auditing Committee has recommended approval of the items, said Charles Lamb, chairman.

“I will essentially call it an irrevocable guidance line, irrevocable line of credit with Bank of Oklahoma,” said Stephen Schaus, city treasurer. “We don’t anticipate that these funds will be needed until 18-20 months down the road, if they’re needed at all. That depends on how the sales tax goes.”

Edmond voters approved a half-cent sales tax in 2010 to build the facility. Voters also approved Proposition No. 2 to allow the city to loan itself $7.2 million out of the Hospital Trust Fund with an improved return of investment on that trust fund.

A bid opening began this week for the Public Safety Center. Expectations are that a formal contract will be awarded at the Aug. 12 city council meeting, City Manager Larry Stevens said in June.

“Of that $22 million, that fulfills all of our legal requirements to have all of the $36 million of the proposed or potential Public Safety Center contract funded up front,” Schaus said. “We don’t anticipate of that amount, possibly only $6 million would be actually be withdrawn.”

City Councilwoman Elizabeth Waner and Councilman Nick Massey said the approach will save the city money. Schaus said a negotiated finance rate would be attractive at 1.69-percent based on current figures.

The 70,000-square-foot Public Safety Center will be built downtown on a 1-acre site where the former City of Edmond Administration Building was demolished at 100 E. First St. It will combine the Edmond Police Department with Central Communications and Emergency Management.

Laboratory, vehicles, evidence-based storage and other related functions will be located at an auxiliary building at 315 W. 33rd Street.

In addition, EPWA authorized the sale of a $16.5 million note to refund Oklahoma Water Resources Board (OWRB).

Paying off a debt to OWRB will prevent the city of Edmond from being bound by action planned by OWRB that would save less money for Edmond, said Charles Lamb, chairman.

“The Oklahoma Water Resources Board is actually doing a taxable deal. Ours is a tax exempt deal,” said Schaus.

QWRB has proposed a 70-30 split with the city with Edmond getting 30 percent of the benefit, Schaus said. Refunding OWRB allows the city 100-percent savings that is tax exempt, Schaus said. | 341-2121