CHARLES TOWN — Bonds were a prominent issue at Monday night’s Charles Town City Council meeting, as the council took steps to save the city money, as well as look toward the future while potential development projects continue their way toward becoming a reality.
The first bond discussion at Monday’s meeting came in the form of an ordinance dedicated to refinancing bonds attached to the Charles Washington Hall, as well as the city’s municipal building. The council unanimously approved the third reading of the ordinance, which has only one more step — a supplemental resolution authorizing the bonds — to go before it officially goes into effect.
In all, the city would be set to save about $600,000, should the ordinance to refinance the bonds ultimately pass. As John Stump, the city’s counsel, noted during Monday’s meeting, the closing date for the refinancing could potentially be completed by the beginning of March.
“This is purely like refinancing a mortgage,” Stump told the council. “We are not extending the term, and we will have interest rate savings, which will be passed on directly to the city.”
The other bond item came later during Monday night’s meeting, as the council voted to establish three bonds dedicated to moving a couple development projects forward in the city. The first bond, passed unanimously, came in at about $473,000 for a project aimed at extending Candlewood Drive further to the east.
The other two, which also passed unanimously, established a roughly $1.2 million bond and an approximately $2.9 million bond, respectively, in connection with Norborne Glebe development projects in the city. As a result, the bonds will be put into reserve as a cautionary measure, should the developer fail to complete its obligations, as City Manager Daryl Hennessy explained Monday night.
“If they fail to fulfill the public improvements,” Hennessy said, “we’ll have the money in reserve to bring in another contractor to finish it.”
Finally Monday night, the council unanimously approved the 2021 master plan for the city’s tree board. In only its second full year as a board, the group was represented by Tanner Haid, who noted that the board spent a lot of its time in 2020 developing the plan and formulating thoughts and ideas for the future. He also added that in 2019, the board established a citywide tree inventory and identified roughly 150 problem trees not located in parks throughout the city.
“We want to look at those 150 trees and have it bring us to a proactive state,” Haid said. “We want to start addressing the problems. Our goal is to get outside of planning mode and get into implementing mode.”
The next regular city council meeting is set for 7 p.m. Jan. 19.