To bond or not to bond, that will be the question

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Rock Springs City Council in session. (Wyo4News Photo/Ann Jantz)

By Ann Jantz, Wyo4News

ROCK SPRINGS, WYOMING (Dec. 4, 2019) — The Rock Springs City Council in the upcoming months will work to decide which Specific Purpose Tax projects they will bond.

This topic was addressed at Tuesday evening’s City Council meeting. No specific decision were made about which projects the city will bond, but council members were in agreement that this was a route that must be taken to get certain projects going and done in a timely manner.

 

Councilman Rob Zotti said it would be okay if the council knows they are going to bond a portion even if they are yet unclear about which projects will be bonded. This way it doesn’t lock the city into anything when the “full picture” of how the Sweetwater County Commission will proceed is still unclear, he added.

Councilman Keaton West suggested bonding sponsorship projects. These projects include YWCA’s new building ($3.5 million), Southwest Wyoming Regional Airport’s commercial terminal project ($3.5 million), and a new multi-use facility to be built next to the Recreation Center ($13.05 million).

Zotti said he supports bonding all the projects in full, noting the city would otherwise have less control when it comes to the funding.

“What if he get stuck with funding?” he asked.

West said a question they need to consider is how much it too much and noted the city does not have to bond the full amount.

The council were all in agreement that this is a difficult discussion to have right now, since the county commissioners have not set an amount to the Specific Purpose Tax. Councilman Tim Savage also asked how the city will market the bonding.

Mayor Tim Kaumo said it would require a lot of hard work — canvassing and going door-to-door.

 

“Now we’re faced with a down economy,” Zotti said, pointing out it may be difficult to market the bonds to businesses.

Councilman David Tate said the city may need to differentiate between needs and wants. Kaumo agreed.

“When we speak of infrastructure there is no grey area. It’s a need.”