SARATOGA SPRINGS – In the city’s largest-ever bond issue, Saratoga Springs sold more than $17 million worth of bonds on June 9 to pay for a lengthy list of 2022 capital improvement projects, the city’s commissioner of finance announced this week.
Topping the previous high mark of roughly $14 million in years following the 2008-2009 recession, Finance Commissioner Minita Sanghvi said this year’s high total was due, in part, to the city being relatively fiscally conservative during the pandemic, as well as the need to finance the East Side fire station, construction of which accounts for $6.7 million – more than a third – of this year’s capital improvement projects.
“The city chose to postpone financing for the construction of the third fire/EMS station during the pandemic, a fiscally prudent measure given the uncertainty of 2020 and 2021,” Sanghvi said in a statement. “Our city has recovered to the point that we are now moving ahead with financing and construction of this vital city resource. This financing also supports water infrastructure, historic preservation and recreation facilities.”
The city of Saratoga Springs sold $17,137,299 worth of Public Improvement Serial Bonds on June 9 at a net interest rate of 3.9%, according to Jeanine Rodgers Caruso, CEO of Fiscal Advisors, the city’s financial advisors.
The city received four bids for the bonds, awarding them to the lowest bidder, R.W. Baird. The bonds are rated “AA+” by Standard & Poor’s, one notch below the highest possible rating of “AAA.”
“The fiscal stability that we have shown, and the fact that we have been conservative the last two years – plus 2021 has shown a surplus, and we have robust sales tax revenues coming in this year – all of these are good factors for us and shows that the larger market has faith in the city’s financial capacity,” Sanghvi said by phone Thursday.
An S&P report states: “Saratoga Springs expects significant surplus results for fiscal 2021 because housing activity has been robust, sales taxes have rebounded, and major tourist attractions have reopened. Officials expect fund balance to grow, replenishing reserves spent during fiscal 2020. In our opinion, robust financial-management policies and access to the broad, diverse metropolitan statistical area provide additional rating stability.”
In addition to the East Side fire station, the bonds will finance several projects, including multiple water infrastructure projects, repairs on the Canfield Casino and the Visitors Center, and a specially designed recycling truck to facilitate recycling downtown.
Here’s a complete list of requested 2022 projects:
- International Dump Truck w/plow (replace #70): $177,466
- City Workplace SSFD Station Two: $229,613
- Traffic Signal Replacement: $350,000
- Traffic Signal Control System: $150,000
- Fire Apparatus Replacement: $630,000
- City Hall: $373,450
- Canfield Casino Restoration: $510,000
- Visitors Center: $145,000
- Woodlawn Avenue Structural: $160,000
- Arts Council: $255,000
- Loughberry Lake Dam Embankment & Spillway: $1,275,000
- Weed Harvester (Replace #179): $183,392
- New Holland Mowing Tractor: $109,059
- International Flat Bed w/Crane: $79,800
- Stormwater Improvements: $250,000
- Loader (Replace #65): $173,337
- International Dump Truck (Replace #98): $177,466
- Loader (Replace #90): $173,337
- International Dump Truck (Replace #59): $177,466
- International Dump Truck (Replace #63): $177,466
- Garbage Truck (Replace #50): $78,600
- Garbage/Recycling Truck: $177,159
- Complete Streets – Design: $100,000
- Saratoga Greenbelt Trail: $125,000
- Electronic Records Management: $200,000
- Recreation Facility – PA System: $50,000
- Ice Rink Rehabilitation: $117,000
- Water Infrastructure Improvement Plan: $1,393,500
- Veteran Memorial Park Field House Renovations: $375,000
- East Side Fire and EMS Facility: $400,000
- East Side Fire and EMS Facility: $6,700,000
- Security Cameras: $214,188
- East Side Storm Water: $275,000
- Sewer Pump Station Upgrades: $450,000
- Water Infrastructure Improvements: $725,000
Andrew Waite can be reached at [email protected] and at 518-417-9338. Follow him on Twitter @UpstateWaite.