City votes to refinance bonds

Highland Village City Council approved an ordinance at their April 26 meeting to issue refunding bonds in the amount of $5.2 million, saving the city over $300,000 in interest charges.

The city had several outstanding bonds that are currently callable, which prompted a look to refund these issues at a lower interest rate, according to city officials.

With the city’s strong bond rating of “AA+” by Standards and Poors, coupled with a strong demand for bonds, the city was able to refund portions of outstanding 1998, 2002, and 2003 bonds at significantly lower rates – the new bonds averaging 3.47% compared to 4.32% for the refunded bonds – resulting in a present value savings of $320,017.  This represents an annual savings to the city of about $35,000 for the next 13 years.

“As members of the city council, our top job is the responsible management of the taxpayer’s money. This recent savings of over $300,000 is a testament to fiscally conservative policies and the strong financial position of our city,” stated Mayor Scott McDearmont.

Council held a public hearing and approved the first read of amendments to the architectural standards ordinance for the Marketplace at Highland Village. The amendment allows the use metal wall panels on buildings and signage and is applicable only to the property located at 2300 Village Parkway.

Also at this meeting, Council approved two amendments in relation to signage on businesses in Highland Village. The first is an amendment to the site plan for Rosa’s Café and Tortilla Factory allowing an additional sign on the north side of the building.

The second is an amendment to the site plan for property located at 2570 FM 407, The District of Highland Village, allowing for backlit signage on the west side of the building. The amendment was approved with the stipulation that if residences are built with windows facing the sign, the sign must be turned off by 9:00 p.m.

During Mayor and Council comments, Mayor Scott McDearmont presented the President’s Volunteer Service Awards to Police Auxiliary members Mike MacLean, Steve Jones, Paul Scholz, Tim Morgan and Arto Lehtonen. The award recognizes individuals for a service standard measured by the number of hours served over a 12-month period.

During his report, City Manager Michael Leavitt provided a recap on the city’s recent survey to determine the best feeder service for utilization of DCTA’s A-train which is set to begin service in June. Survey results have shown a need for a “Park & Ride” location within Highland Village providing shuttle service to the Highland Village/Lewisville Lake station. Leavitt informed residents of upcoming DCTA events:

· DCTA Rail Ready Safety Day – Saturday, May 7, from 10AM-1PM at the Highland Village/Lewisville Lake station located at Garden Ridge and I-35E. The event will include a sneak peak at the A-train and feature many organizations informing attendees of safety around the train system and safety in general.

· DCTA Rock ‘n Rail Grand Opening – Saturday, June 18.

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