Carmel Bond Bank approves first debt package

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The Carmel Bond Bank has approved its first round of bonds.

The $251.5 million bond combines 17 separate smaller bonds that the Carmel City Council approved in January that will mostly support funding new projects.

It includes 13 general obligation bonds of up to $2 million each with a majority of the funds set aside for new roundabouts, a $160 million bond through the Carmel Redevelopment Authority for 12 other road infrastructure projects, a $34.5 million bond for stormwater and drainage improvements and $12 million for local improvements associated with redevelopment.

A $19 million debt refinancing is also included in the bond package to lower the interest rate on an existing bond from 2010.

The Carmel Bond Bank approved the bond package Tuesday.

Although general obligation debt can’t typically be mixed with redevelopment or storm water or utility debt because payments are backed by different sources, all of the bonds pledge property taxes in addition to other funding sources.

“That was part of the reason why we thought we could put these all together,” said Loren Matthes, a public finance adviser for the Indianapolis-based accounting firm H.J. Umbaugh & Associates.

Mayor Jim Brainard appointed the independent five-member board in February. It serves as a conduit for issuing bonds to help the city and other entities secure lower interest rates. Carmel officials decided to use the tool that is provided by state law to any first or second class city after the council approved the slew of small bonds earlier this year.

Interest rates won’t be locked in until the bonds are sold, but the city is estimating it will save $3.3 million over the life of the bonds, or $2.5 million in today’s dollars, by combining them.

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