Westchester finds buyer for bonds
Updated: April 8, 2013 6:13AM
WESTCHESTER — The Village Board unanimously Tuesday for an ordinance authorizing the sale of Series 2013 general obligation bonds.
Not to exceed $5.8 million, bonds were sold at auction to a single investor: Milwaukee-based equity firm Robert W. Baird & Co.
Baird was one of three firms to submit a bid, said Village Manager Janet Matthys, adding interest on the bonds range between 2 percent to 3.15 percent.
Assigned an AA2 rating from Moody’s Investor Service, the favorable bond rating was reflective of the village’s “strong credit qualities within the Aa rating categories,” according to Moody’s. The village’s credit rating is the third highest rating assessed by Moody’s.
Matthys said the village secured the rating on the strength of a solid fiscal responsibility track record, including maintaining a favorable fund balance within its general fund “despite economic challenges.”
The village manager underscored Westchester’s long-standing policy to maintain a reserve of at least a 30 percent within the general fund.
“We’ve been diligent in planning for economic development. The recent hiring of a community development director indicates a commitment to community investment,” Matthys said. “We’ve made a host of capital investments in equipment within an aggressive replacement plan. The big picture is we’re not just looking at today, but have a vision for the long term.”
The credit rating was issued on the heels of a meeting with Moody’s in early February, which was attended by Matthys, Village President Sam Pulia and finance director Anne Burkholder.
Sale of the bonds will finance certain public infrastructure projects, including acquiring and constructing improvements to municipal roads and streets, access roads, bridges, and sidewalks. The work will also include water and sewer line extensions, water distribution and purification facilities, storm water drainage and retention facilities and sewage treatment facilities.
In other business, trustees:
• celebrated the grand opening this week of a Dunkin’ Donuts location at the northeast corner of 31st and Wolf Road, which includes drive-through service. The former BP gasoline station had been shuttered years ago, with redevelopment in a holding pattern more than likely due to finding a property buyer due to underground storage tank cleanup responsibility. Matthys said the retail footprint is large enough to house two additional tenants, but no additional leases have yet been signed.
• discussed the relationship with the village’s red-light photo enforcement vendor, RedSpeed Illinois. With one year remaining on a five-year contract with the Lombard-based firm, the village discussed overall vendor performance, safety improvements at the three intersections cameras are located, and revenue generation.
Stressing intersection safety over revenue, the village has seen income from photo enforcement dwindle from $339,314 in 2011 to $185,985 in 2012, said Matthys, who attributed the decline to motorists becoming more accustomed to the cameras and better complying with traffic ordinances.