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Osage County road and bridge supervisor Glen Tyson, engineer Bob Chambers, and Osage County Commissioner Mike Pruitt inspect the support pillars, beams and girders under an old timber bridge on 229th Street during an inspection in April.

Gabe Faimon | Reporter

LYNDON—The Osath bridge bondge County Commission reviewed and discussed the process to issue 20-year general obligation bonds for a project planned to replace 13 Osage County bridges.

“We have some 30 bridges that need attention and care, desperately,” said Osage County Commissioner Ken Kuykendall at Monday’s regular meeting. “We have only 13 on this list. We are not willing to commit to more than this.”

During the meeting, Osage County Road and Bridge Supervisor Glen Tyson reported on a railroad bridge north of the intersection of West 325th Street and South Jordan Road that was recently inspected and reduced to a five-ton weight limit. School busses from USD 456 Marais des Cygnes Valley and USD 243 Lebo-Waverly traveled over the bridge, however, state law does not allow school buses to travel bridges with five-ton or less load limits.

Superintendents were notified by a letter sent Oct. 2.

A report was presented to the commission by Greg Vahrenberg, managing director of the investment bank and asset management firm Piper Jaffray. Tyson and Osage County Clerk Rhonda Beets were present during Vahrenberg’s presentation. Osage County Treasurer Jo Ann Hamilton joined follow up discussion. Osage County Commissioner Carl Meyer was absent.

The report of Preliminary Financing Analysis indicated that bonds totaling $4,292,365.45 could be issued, with $4,213,000 allocated directly to the project. The difference was attributed to the cost of issuing the bonds, plus a minimal county deposit, $2,320, for debt service.

The report indicated payments would begin in 2013. Vahrenberg referred to a section of the report, Mill Levy Impact Analysis. The section reflected no increase in assessed valuation during the 20-year period, with an assumed 96 percent tax collection rate. Vahrenberg said, “Over 20 years, the mill levy would be slightly over two mills.” Beets said the approved 2013 budget appeared to be sufficient.

Tyson said current economic conditions indicate likelihood that construction bids would be lower than engineering design estimates.
“Hopefully, we can go out for bids in January,” Tyson said. “Historically, that’s better than in July.”

Vahrenberg said, “In January and February, we hit a new record low on interest rates for tax free municipal bonds. The previous record goes back to the 1960s. This last Friday, we pushed slightly lower (3.67 percent), so 99 percent of the time since January 1987, rates have been higher. We’re back to record lows for the third time this year.”

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