LEDCO Refunds Bonds to Save Interest and Fund Trail Expansion
March 22, 2017 (Longview, TX) – The Longview Economic Development Corporation (LEDCO) board members voted Wednesday to refund bonds in a move that is expected to bring significant interest savings on existing bond debt. In addition, the LEDCO board continued its commitment to improving the quality of life in Longview by using the refunding as an opportunity to bond additional funds for expansion of the City of Longview’s trail system.
Trail improvements were identified as one of the top priorities in the Longview Comprehensive Plan, which is a long-term planning guide for the City of Longview. In 2016, LEDCO approved funding Phase 1 of a Guthrie Trail expansion project with the ultimate goal of linking the existing Paul Boorman and Cargill Long Park trails. Phase 1 of the project expands Guthrie Trail from Akin Park to Cargill Long Trail. Phase 2 expands the trail from Akin Trail to Guthrie Park, and Phase 3 continues the trail from Guthrie Park to Paul Boorman Trail. With the refunding of the bonds, the available dollars will be able to be applied to Phase 1 as well as Phase 2 of that project. Additionally, the board plans to assist in seeking grant funding for Phase 3 of the project.
The refunded bonds were originally issued in 2009 in the amount of $10,000,000 for the purpose of installation of the infrastructure in the North Business Park. By refunding the bonds, interest rates would be reduced from 4.43 % to 2.56%.
According to LEDCO President/CEO Wayne Mansfield, “This action not only saves LEDCO money on our existing debt, but it also allows us to make a major improvement to Longview’s trail system. By using available bonds, we are able to quickly fund both Phases 1 and 2 of the trail extension project and maintain our available cash reserves to pursue significant economic development projects such as incentives to attract new companies to Longview or capital improvements including, but not limited to pad-ready sites at both Business Parks.”
The trail expansion project is just the latest in a series of quality of life projects funded by LEDCO. In 2001, LEDCO was authorized to provide funding for Type B projects, which include streets, traffic construct, public safety and parks facilities projects. In 2016, the LEDCO board formed a committee of board members to review the recommendations listed within the Longview Comprehensive Plan and evaluated the possible recommended projects according to economic development impact. LEDCO has contributed $100,000 for the preparation of a small area master plans for both Downtown and I-20, contributed $400,000 in funding for the development of The Green entryway park, and contributed $60,000 in funding the development of a Unified Development Code to be used by the City of Longview. Other major projects in recent years have included contributions of almost $4 million towards the construction of George Richey Road and $300,000 towards Longview Transit.
NEWS RELEASE Wayne Mansfield, President/CEO
For Immediate Release Ph: (903)753-7878