The Fremont City Council will consider several items that, if passed, would finance several current and future infrastructure projects within the community.
The meeting on Tuesday includes consideration of a resolution to authorize a preliminary financial agreement for the Southeast Beltway project, as well as a proposed ordinance to issue utility bonds to finance the remaining costs of the Elkhorn River Valley Transmission Line and Waste Water Treatment Plant projects.
The Council will consider a resolution, which can be passed by a single vote, which would create a preliminary agreement between the city and the state that would create a cost share between the two entities to pay for the Southeast Beltway project.
The Southeast Beltway is a 3.2 mile four-lane divided expressway that will connect U.S. Highway 77 and U.S. Highway 275 designed to improve traffic flow and regional connectivity between U.S. 77, U.S. 275, and U.S. Highway 30.
Under the proposed financial agreement the total cost to the city would be capped at $20 million, just under half of the total cost of the project which is estimated at $43 million.
The proposed agreement would break up the city’s $20 million bill into three payment. The first two payments would be $6.67 million apiece – with the first being paid upon the execution of the Nebraska Department of Transportation agreement and the second being paid in July 2019. The third payment – totaling $6.66 million—would be paid in July 2020.
According to a staff report prepared by City Administrator Brian Newtown, the city will use $12 million in state allocation funds and sales tax reserves, as well as $8 million from Highway Allocation Pledge Bonds to pay its total cost share burden for the project.
The details of the agreement also state that the State will pay one hundred percent of additional costs if Fremont’s $20 million is exceeded for the project. Project costs include planning, preliminary engineering, survey, environmental, right-of-way, utilities, construction, and construction engineering.
The State expects construction of the Southeast Beltway to begin in spring of 2020 and to have the road open to traffic in the fall of 2021.
The Council will also consider an ordinance, which must past three separate readings and votes to be passed, to issue a Combined Utilities Bond Series to reimburse expenses in connection with the Elkhorn River Valley Transmission project that connected the Fremont Department of Utilities with Omaha Public Power District as well as improvements to the Fremont Waste Water Treatment Plant.
According to a staff report prepared by Fremont Director of Finance Jody Sanders the principal amount of the bonds will not exceed $40 million and the true interest cost of the bonds will not exceed 4 percent.
The proposed ordinance also calls for the city’s municipal advisor, Ameritas Investment Corp., to bid out and award the sale of the bonds, and representatives from Ameritas will be at the Council meeting on Tuesday to answer questions about the ordinance.
Sanders added that Standard and Poor’s Ratings Services is currently reviewing the Utilities’ bond rating for the proposed bond issue.
The Council meeting is set for Oct. 30 at 7 p.m. within the City Council Chambers at 400 E. Military Avenue. An associated study session is scheduled prior to the meeting at 6:45 p.m.
The full City Council agenda can be found online at fremontne.gov/agendacenter.