Civic Center bonds promise swim complex funding

Civic Center bonds promise swim complex funding
A view of the Civic Center in Oceanside, California. Photo by Visitor7 courtesy of WikiMedia

OCEANSIDE — City Council approved the refinancing of 2005 Civic Center bonds June 24 with a promise from Councilwoman Esther Sanchez the money would be reissued to fund the planned city swim complex.

The maximum of $9.5 million was refinanced, with no immediate allocation of funds.

However, future reissuing of the bonds to build the swim complex is expected since the City Council directed staff to come up with funding for the complex in spring.

“Council gave direction in April to look at all financing scenarios,” Michele Lund, city treasury manager, said.

The swim complex will be built at El Corazon Park next to the existing senior center.

It includes a competition-length pool, a smaller therapy pool, a children’s splash pad and a building to house a lobby, restrooms and shower facilities. The cost of the complex is estimated at $12 million.

Refinancing the bonds, that will soon be paid off, at a lower interest rate will save the city $69,000 or more annually for the remainder of the four-year duration.

Upon presenting refinancing to City Council June 24, Lund requested approval of an open-ended rate, up to 9.5 percent, which is a minimum 3 percent savings. The short-end curve of the bonds makes refinancing “street sensitive” to fluctuating interest rates. The goal is to secure the lowest available rate.

Lund said the refinancing rate looks to be 8.5 percent.

In order to allocate funds to the aquatic center, building plans need to be further along.

Lund said project design work must be complete before new debt can be issued.

“It’s not in a position to meet those standards,” Lund said.

Once the project is at that point, the bonds can be reissued without posting reserve funds.

Additional funding sources to cover the aquatic center build may include grants and private/ public partnerships.

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