Clear Lake City Council approves moving forward with $1.3 million bond sale for new park, inclusive playground

Artist's rendering of the Everybody Plays playground project from the group's Facbeook page

CLEAR LAKE — The Clear Lake City Council Monday night approved moving forward with $1.3 million in funding for a new park on property formerly owned by Cerro Gordo County.

The county sold the property at 109 South 15th Street, which used to be a county maintenance garage, to the city last February for $250,000. It’s being redeveloped into an inclusive playground that provides children and adults of all ages and abilities the opportunity to play together.

City Administrator Scott Flory says the $1.3 million in bond issue funding would cover about 70% of the project cost.  “The total project budget is around $1.8 to $1.9 million for the inclusive playground and park development project, so $1.3 million of that would come from the subsequent bond issue that we are talking about here, and the remainder would come from general fund cash reserves.”

Flory says local banks have indicated they are interested in bidding on the borrowing proposal.  “We’re not talking about a public sale with this, but like the last couple of offerings we’ve had where there has been a direct placement with one of our local lending institutions, and again the lending institutions have already indicated that they are interested in this upcoming placement by the city. So again, we would proceed with the direct sale and placement to probably one of the local banks.”

The council approved an agreement with Northland Securities to be the placement agent for the bond sale. Chip Schultz with Northland Securities says while the city may not see  some of the lowest interest rates on bonds like they have with issues in the last two years, he still expects a competitive process for this project.  He says the interest rate environment isn’t quite as favorable as it was in late 2020 and early 2021 when the city worked on the Wellness Center financing, but it is still quite a favorable environment. He anticipates the interest rate will be in the 1% to 1.25% range.”

While the city had budgeted $1.8 million for the project, the Everybody Plays Playground Committee has raised about an additional $250,000 in private donations. 



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