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What's the best way to finance the cost of the Locust Road project?

Posted: Thu, May 21, 2020 11:11 AM

The City of Decorah is expected to borrow over $5 million to pay for the cost of the Locust Road reconstruction and the smaller Quarry Road storm sewer project.  On Thursday, Decorah City Council members met to discuss the options for bonding for the two projects.  The Decorah City Council is expected to vote June 15th on the details of the financing plan.
Thursday's discussion revolved around whether to include some smaller street projects in the overall bonding.  City Finance Committee chair Randy Schissel proposed dropping repairs of Court Street and Winnebago Street from the bonding package—a move he said would cut $235,000 from the bonding package.  But other city council members didn't favor that approach.  Johanna Bergan said the top comment she gets from city residents is, "We want better roads."  Mayor Lorraine Borowski added that she thought both projects involved streets in bad condition.
The cost of the more than $5 million bonding package will be repaid in part through local option sales tax receipts.  The State of Iowa has warned that such receipts have been falling because the COVID-19 pandemic has sharply reducing road traffic, but City Clerk/Treasurer Wanda Hemesath says the state has said current LOST funding to cities will remain the same until August—and cities won't learn about the new funding levels until August 10th.
A decision on paying for the Locust Road project will be made by the Decorah City Council June 15th or July 6th.