The Waxahachie City Council approved the refunding and restructuring of $13,550,000 in sales tax revenue bonds Monday night, less than two hours after the proposal was approved by the Waxahachie Community Development Corporation.

By refunding the bonds and restructuring them with new interest rates, the city will be able to sell an additional $10 million worth of new bonds without increasing the sales tax.

Originally sold in 1998, the bonds were being and will continue to be repaid using a one-half cent sales tax in addition to user fees at the two city-owned facilities. By undertaking the refund and restructuring, the city will be getting additional funds by paying the same amount of money over the terms of the bonds.

The new bonds will be put toward improvements at the Waxahachie Civic Center and the Waxahachie Sports Complex, such as HVAC and roofing work at the civic center and new baseball diamonds and concession stand/restrooms at the sports complex.

With its BBB rating, the bonds will carry an interest rate of 4.55 percent, a rate the city financial advisor Ken Smith of Southwest Securities called “excellent.”

Noting that the restructuring of the bonds was among the city’s intentions when it first approved the bonds nearly 10 years ago, Smith added that the present package will have an optional prepayment date of Aug. 1, 2017, at which time the city could pay for some or all of the bonds.

The prepayment option is important in case interest rates improve and the city could save money by re-financing, Smith said.

After a motion by Councilman N.B. “Buck” Jordan and a second by Councilman Charles “Chuck” Beatty, the item passed unanimously.

In other business, the council bore witness as Waxahachie’s newest police officers took the oath of office, administered by Mayor Joe Jenkins. Taking their oaths marks the halfway point in the training of Patrol Officers Donald Foshee and Brian Fuller, who completed 840 hours of instruction prior to being sworn in, and will complete 828 hours of field training in the coming months

Along with the Waxahachie Fire Department, the WPD was praised by City Manager Paul Stevens for its service during last week’s severe storm, which caused significant damage to property around the city. Also earning mention from Stevens were the city’s Parks and Recreation and Public Works staff, who worked to quickly address and correct the effects of the storm on the city’s parks and infrastructure.

In other business, the council:

Authorized the Waxahachie Police Department to seek a grant through the Texas Department of Transportation’s Texas Highway Safety Performance Plan. The S.T.E.P. (Selective Traffic Enforcement Grant) funds would primarily be used to pay for overtime for officers to focus on speed enforcement during spring break, Memorial Day, and Labor in 2008. Heard a report from Director of Finance Carl Wessels regarding the merger of FR&R Fund into the TMRS, tabling a decision to set a date for a worksession for further discussion Issued proclamations declaring May 2007 as “National Historic Preservation Month” and “Motorcycle Safety and Awareness Month,” the week of May 14-20 as “Salvation Army Week,” the week of May 13-19 as “National Nursing Home Week,” the time from June 4 - July 4 as “Crape Myrtle Month,” the week of May 13-19 as “Police Week” and May 15 as “Police Memorial Day.”

City Development Items:

Approved the final plat of the Waxahachie Crossing Subdivision, a 41.119 acre subdivision located south of YMCA Drive on Highway 77 North. The subdivision will include JC Penneys, a Ross Department Store, and a Famous Footwear, the developer’s representative said. Approved the final plat of three phases of the Windchase Addition, a total of 41.326 acres located west of Carlton Parkway, north of Butcher Road (F.M. 378) Tabled the proposed preliminary plat of Waxahachie Towne Center North Addition, a 2.285 acre space for a western wear store located on Highway 77 North between Splash Auto Bath and Mustang Creek, being south of Bessie Coleman Drive Approved the preliminary and final plats of the Olive Garden Addition, a 1.0839 acre lot on the east side of Highway 77 North, north of the Chili’s Restaurant. Awarded the bid for a 36 inch parallel sanitary sewer line to be constructed adjacent to Phase IV of Clift Estates (located on Park School House Road) to Jackson Construction, Ltd., in the amount of $242,989.29. The new line will be part of the trunk sewer, city staff told the council. Awarded a bid on infrastructure improvements for Phase IV-A of Clift Estates, located on Park School House Road, to JRJ Paving, in the amount of $661,512.29, which will be used in conjunction with approximately $315,000 in grant funds. The development to which the grant will be applied requires that a certain number of the homes go to new homeowners in a mid- to low- income bracket, city staff told the council.

The Waxahachie City Council meets at City Hall in the Council Chamber on the first and third Mondays of the month.

The council’s next scheduled meeting is 7 p.m. Monday, May 21 at City Hall, located at 401 S. Rogers Street.

E-mail Anthony at anthony.trojan@waxahachiedailylight.com