Jennifer Ritter of Specialized Public Finance reviews
the details of the certificates of obligation that the
City of Brenham agreed to issue during Thursday's
city council meeting.

The Brenham City Council today (Thursday) agreed to authorize issuing $10 million in certificates of obligation (COs) to fund the building of a new fire station and in-house street, sidewalk and drainage improvements. 

The city will receive approximately $7.8 million to be used for the fire station, to be built in the Brenham Business Center at the intersection of James Nutt Boulevard and Handley Street, and another $2 million for the road and drainage construction.  The remainder will go toward issuance costs.

Jennifer Ritter, Managing Director at Specialized Public Finance, said the city has done well within everything in its power to secure a double A minus bond rating from Standard & Poor’s.

Eight bids were received from investors across the country, with the top bidder being BOK Financial Securities of Dallas.  The bond term is for 20 years at a 3.69 percent interest rate.  The COs will close on July 11th, and the first bond payment will come on August 15th.

Ritter said the city hit the market at “a very good time” after the Federal Reserve decided on Wednesday to hold off on another interest rate hike.  She said with rates the way they are, being able to receive eight bids is a credit to the city. 

Ritter added that the borrowing is structured to where the city can pay off the debt faster and hold the interest and sinking (I&S) rate without an increase. 

Mayor Atwood Kenjura thanked city staff for their work in maintaining the city’s bond rating and getting a lower interest rate. 

Also at today’s meeting, the council:

  • Approved the creation of commercial tax phase-in reinvestment zones for Valmont Industries and North Park Development LLC. 
  • Approved a tax phase-in agreement with Stanpac USA LLC. 
  • Took no action on a Chapter 380 agreement with Academy Sports + Outdoors.  The item will come back to the council in July.
  • Passed resolutions in support of partial closures on Alamo and Market Streets needed by Ick Productions LLC for filming in downtown on August 2nd and August 3rd.  
  • Approved a resolution to adopt a new fee schedule for the city’s development services department.  The resolution covers planning and permitting fees for building, electrical, mechanical, plumbing, health, vendor/solicitor and fire applications.  The previous fee schedule had been in place since June 2019. The changes bring the fee amounts closer in line with those of area cities.
  • Approved a memorandum of agreement between the city and Blinn College for the use of soccer fields at Hohlt Park.
  • Approved an updated lease agreement between the city and Brenham RC Airplane Club for property at 2080 Old Navasota Road.
  • Tabled action on the second reading of an ordinance amending city code to institute new noise regulations. The decision to table came after the council heard from the owner of a concrete business who was concerned about his company's ability to stay within the allowed noise levels.
  • Amended authorized signatories for Bank of Brenham.
  • Held executive session discussion regarding Aviators Plus v. City of Brenham, Texas, Cause No. 37896, 21st Judicial District Court, Washington County.  Discussion was also planned for the legal issues concerning the city’s raw water intake structure at Lake Somerville, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and associated matters.

Click here to view the agenda packet for Thursday's meeting.

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