PARKERSBURG -Members of the Parkersburg City Council's Finance Committee will meet tonight to continue discussion on the reduction of the city's debt service.
The committee previously met to discuss options, but postponed action until more information, such as the payoff amounts of some of the newer equipment and lease-purchase agreements, could be obtained.
Mayor Bob Newell has asked council to consider a reduction in debt after municipal league officials said member cities could expect a reduction in state severance money and grants. The mayor said paying off some of the lease-purchase could free up $8,000-$10,000 in revenue.
Newell said the city has computer software (finance department), the city building's HVAC system, the Memorial Bridge toll-taking system and other things that could be paid off or refinanced. City officials are also considering paying off a street sweeper.
One loan package, which includes the Memorial Bridge's toll collection system, the City Building's HVAC system, work on the City Park pool and construction of a new maintenance building at the City Park, was refinanced from 4.07 percent to 1.74 percent.
Under the previous loan terms the agreement would cost the city more than $700,000 over its life, Finance Director Angie Smith said.
Today's regular meeting also signals the beginning of the end for a number of council members. Brad Kimes, John Sandy, Sharyn Tallman and Tom Joyce will finish out their terms at the end of the year. Kimes, Tallman and Joyce opted not to seek re-election to council. Tallman sought higher office, making a failed bid at mayor.
Sandy was the only incumbent seeking re-election who was defeated. The District 4 council member was upended by Kim Coram.
Sandy, who is also battling throat cancer, was the only council member seeking re-election who voted against the city's user fee. Nancy Wilcox, Sharon Lynch, John Rockhold and Jim Reed, all of who approved the fee, were re-elected following last week's general election results.
District 6 council member Mike Reynolds, who voted against the fee, was unopposed in both the primary and general election.
Council will also consider the final reading of lease/purchase of six vehicles for the police department.