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By CHARLES RICHARDS
The Paris City Council signed off Monday night on three construction projects on South Collegiate Drive out of money left over from a bond issue three years ago.
The 2010 bond issue was primarily to turn a poor road along the west side of the new Paris High School campus that was under construction at the time. The result was a southerly extension of Collegiate Drive.
The city is proposing to do three more projects with $951,000 left over after the completion of the project for which the city sold $3,005,000 in certificates of obligation three years ago.
On the agenda two weeks ago was a proposal to approve a professional services contract in the amount of $43,900, to be funded by the city’s Capital Improvement Project, to design three projects funded by that left-over $951,000.
Mayor AJ Hashmi, in particular, had questioned whether it was legal to spend the left-over money on other projects, and the matter was tabled to allow finance director Gene Anderson to consult with bond attorneys.
Anderson reported to the council Monday night that he was assured it’s legal to use the left-over money for other projects on South Collegiate Drive.
“I spoke with Dan Culver (an attorney with the company the city uses on bond projects) and told him what our projects were going to be. Based on that, he didn’t see any legal reason why we couldn’t do those projects because they fell within the wording,” Anderson said.
City manager John Godwin added: “We are allowed to spend money on any projects that are physically part of Collegiate. The bids back three years ago were less than expected, so there was money left over.”
The mayor asked if it was required that the left-over money be spent on other projects, or if the money could have been used to expedite payment of the bond.
“You can actually put the money back in the Interest and Sinking fund that would go toward the debt. Y ou can’t actually call the debt in unless it’s the call date, and that’s usually 10 years from the date of the bond,” Anderson said.
The council then approved Hayter Engineering’s fee for the design of the new project, which consists of: