Up to this point, the city has estimated the maximum cost of the cleanup to be $400,000, although Kezer said his expectation is that the final amount will be much lower than that. Over the past few months the city has tested the site to determine how thorough a cleanup will be required, and once those tests are completed, a more precise estimate will become available.
“That $400,000 assumes that we have to do a full-depth cleanup of the entire park, which we know is not the case,” Kezer said. “So what’s happening is that $400,000 price tag is going down as we refine the requirements of the project.”
For the purposes of the legislation, Kezer said whatever loan authorization he requests would be enough to cover the whole project, and the city would only spend what it needs even if the authorization allows for more.
“If we use the $400,000 figure as a loan authorization, the way it works is we’ll have the authority to borrow up to $400,000,” Kezer said. “So let’s say the project comes to $350,000 and nothing else changes, we’ll have $100,000 as a grant and $250,000 as a loan, and then the rest of the authorization disappears because we don’t need it.”
As far as underwriting the loan, Kezer said the city could either use the proceeds from the sale of the planned development parcel in the Lower Millyard to pay off the loan, or it could pay it off over a long period of time. He added that neither option would have a measurable impact on the tax rate, particularly as older debts have begun to mature at a faster rate.