Leigh Ann Biernat with Stephens Inc. spoke to the Lonoke City Council about a bond issuance for the city’s new 1.50 percent sales and use tax during its Monday night meeting.


According to Biernat, the bonds were priced on Monday and the outcome was very positive.


“We ended up with total project funds of $20,170,000,” Biernat said. “The par amount of bonds that will be issued is $20,270,000. They are 30-year bonds.”


According to Biernat, the interest on the bonds will be 3.8 percent. She said even if the city shows no growth in the next 30 years, the city is projected to pay the bond off three or four years early.


“As we went through with the rating annalist, you’ve had positive growth every year that the treasurer’s records go back,” Biernat said. “You’ve only had one year of negative and it was half a percent negative. Your biggest year since 2009, well 2009-2010 you had 13 percent growth and from 2016-17, you had eight percent growth. So we will be interested in watching Lonoke’s progress and seeing just how early you pay these bonds off.”


“I know we were talking about this, this morning,” Mayor Wayne McGee. “When Jack [Trumper with Stephens Inc.] first came, we couldn’t even qualify for $6 million and that was just eight years ago. We haven’t went up on taxes, we haven’t went up on anything and now we are qualifying for this kind of money. I think for the interest rate and amount we could get, it was pretty much now or never. I think we are in a great position. A lot of these problems are long overdue and I think we are fortunate. Thanks to everybody. We have grown and are able to do what we can do.”


According to Biernat, with authorization from the council, the city bond issue will close April 24 and funds will be on hand, ready for use.


By unanimous vote, the council authorized an emergency ordinance for the issuance of sales and tax use bonds for the purpose of financing the cost of capital improvements, pledging a sales and use tax to pay the principal of and interest on the bonds.


“I don’t even know if it has sunk into me, how big of a deal this all is,” McGee said, addressing the public. “A lot of it, you won’t notice. But it’s going to be a lot of heartaches and a lot of tough times getting all this new stuff put in. But it’s going to be well worth it, I promise you. If anyone wants to know the process and where we are going to start. What we are going to do. Get in touch with me and we will come visit with you and explain how it will be done, how long it will take. Anything you can possibly want to know, just get with us and we will do our best we can. We’re going to try to make it as smooth and as fast as possible. I appreciate everybody.”


Also during the meeting, the council unanimously approve to:


- Purchase a popcorn machine for the ball park from Tender Pop for $1,629.55


- Spend $2,800 for two 6x6 handicap accessible sidewalks at the ball park


- Spend $1,305.99 for fire truck lights


- Spend $4,100 for five aerator frames


- Approve the purchase and insulation for fixtures at the water plant from Nicholson Electric for $1,764.10


- Table all property discussion until the next meeting


- Pass a resolution in support of local pharmacies dealing with pharmacy benefit managers (PBM), urging PBM oversight


- Spend an additional $765 for lighting at the west bound exit ramp of I-40


- Authorize, by resolution, to utilize the 80/20 grant through federal-aid transportation alternative program funds


- Authorize an agreement between the city and Central Arkansas Planning and Development for the Lonoke School Sidewalk project. The city portion will be $15,000.


The City of Lonoke will host its spring clean up from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 14-21. Dumpsters will be located at the city shop, 1219 Barnes Street.


The next council meeting will be at 6 p.m. April 9 in the courtroom at city hall.