GALLIPOLIS — During a special meeting on Thursday, the Gallipolis City Commission approved an emergency ordinance allowing for the issuance of a bond in the amount of $353,175 for various ongoing city road repair projects.
Gallipolis City Auditor Annette Landers reported that the bond, which will be used to pay back the general fund for the construction of the alternate access road to Mound Hill Cemetery, as well as the city’s portion of the cost of repair to Cemetery Road and Hedgewood Drive, will be a 15-year, 3.55 percent interest loan issued by Ohio Valley Bank (OVB).
According to Landers, two banks submitted proposals to her office this past week — OVB and Wesbanco — and, after speaking with the city’s bond counsel, Dennis Schwallie of Peck, Shaffer and Williams, OVB’s 15-year proposal was deemed as the appropriate choice, despite their higher interest rate.
“I was of the opinion that the one from Wesbanco had too many conditions in it, and so I ran it by Mr. Schwallie and he said ‘yes, indeed, on page two of the solicitation, it says any proposals with additional conditions would not be received,’ which means we wouldn’t even consider them,” Landers said. “So, we had to go ahead and reject that one even though it had a lower interest rate — it was a 3.1 percent interest rate.”
According to Landers, the 15-year proposal from OVB, as opposed to the 20-year loan, was, in her opinion, in the best interest of the municipality.
“[Ohio Valley Bank also] had a 20 year proposal at 3.8 percent, but the difference in interest between the two offerings was $50,000, and I really didn’t think it would benefit us to go out an additional five years,” she said.
Closing on the bond was, as of Thursday’s meeting, scheduled for February 27, and, according to Landers, payments on the loan, which actually equates to a 16-year loan with 32 bi-annual payments, will be manageable by the city.
“It’s $14,000 per payment, roughly, and I think that is something we can handle,” Landers said.
Repair to Cemetery Road (the original access road to Mound Hill Cemetery) is ongoing, according to Gallipolis City Manager Randy Finney, with 87.5 percent of the total cost of the $706,000 project being paid by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
Cemetery Road was closed to the public in April 2011 following heavy spring rain that caused a massive slip in the roadway.
A temporary road was later constructed nearby, allowing access to the hill that not only houses a large cemetery, but also county and city emergency communication equipment.
A portion of Hedgewood Drive, a roadway that has also been an ongoing concern for the city for many years, will also be repaired by FEMA funds.
As previously reported, FEMA has agreed to pay the approximately $180,000 needed to repair 200 feet of the roadway — damage to which was exacerbated by heavy 2011 spring rainfall — while repairs to the remaining 500 feet of roadway will be completed by the city.