City leaders propose strategic refinancing to pay for street, Riverfront Park improvements

City leaders propose strategic refinancing to pay for street, Riverfront Park improvements

SPOKANE, Wash. - City leaders are preparing a proposal to refinance bonds used for street and park development in order to continue work on city streets as well as refurbish Riverfront Park.

The proposal announced by Spokane Mayor David Condon and City Council President Ben Stuckart calls for refinancing of three bond measures approved by residents in 1999, 2004 and 2007 that would go to providing $25 Million toward work on city arterials and residential streets and $60 Million that would go toward implementation of the recently completed Riverfront Park Mater Plan.

"Just as citizens have refinanced their homes and used the savings to make other investments, we are proposing sustainable funding for streets and reinvigorating our parks all without asking citizens to reach deeper into their pockets," Condon said in a news release.

Currently taxpayers are helping repay the 2004 Street Bond, which charges taxpayers 57 for every $1,000 of assessed property value on a home, for the next 16 years without any additional street improvements. A new levy, however, would generate the same amount from each homeowner but the $5 Million raised for new street work would be matched with state, local and federal transportation dollars to make approximately $25 Million in street improvements annually.

Refinancing the 2007 bond for park development would continue to pay off that debt while also raising the $60 Million needed to refurbish Riverfront Park.

"Citizens consistently remind us how important streets are to them," Stuckart said in a news release. "They also talk about reinvigorating Riverfront Park, which has been a great community asset over the past four decades. They want us to maintain what we have and make improvements to the street and park systems. This proposal meets both of those needs and fulfills an important citizen priority."

The 1999 bond is set to be paid off at the end of 2014.