Monroe may use bonds to fund municipal campus

MONROE — Another piece to how the city’s municipal campus plan may come together is now clearer: The city thinks it will issue municipal bonds to pay for the major building investment.
If it does, the city plans to repay the bond debt on its own. Taking out bonds would create no new taxes, city leaders have emphasized.
There are many calculations to do on whether the city can afford the repayment cost. Repaying the bond debt would be from the city coffers, plus a contribution from the utilities department which would be housed in the campus.
The current building, constructed in the mid-20th Century, is inadequate for the city’s needs. Officials hope to build a completely new set of buildings at City Hall’s current location at 806 W. Main St.
The buildings are to last for upwards of 40 years. The bond could be a 40-year bond.
A scoping study calculated that the new building could cost $16.5 million. This figure is not concrete, as design work isn’t finished yet.
City finance director Becky Hasart will present more details at the April 5 City Council meeting.
The City Council would need to decide whether to exercise their authority to issue municipal bonds.
Looking further into the future, redoing the Police Department next door to City Hall is a third phase for the project. That could be addressed as soon as 2024.
Renovating and replacing the police department would be funded by the city issuing a separate, shorter bond, from a quick presentation last week in council committee.