Since taking office in May of 2010, Parish President Robottom has made a concerted effort to save St. John tax payers' money and those efforts continued at Tuesday night's council meeting. After almost two years of discussions and extensions, the Council approved Robottom's recommendations for grass cutting and janitorial service contracts, saving the parish approximately $100,000 annually. The council also approved an ordinance to consolidate and refinance three Water Revenue Bonds, saving the parish over $820,000 in interests over the life of the bonds.
The Water Revenue Bonds were issued in 1997, 1998, and 1999 to fund improvements to the parish-wide water system. The balance of $5.7 million will be paid down with $877,250 from the parish reserve fund, reducing the debt to $4.8 million. Once refinancing is finalized, the three bonds will be consolidated into the Series 2012 Water Revenue Bond with a seventeen year payment schedule. “Debt reduction through refinancing is an excellent means to eliminate overall debt and improve the parish's cash flow. This is the fourth such refinancing initiated by the parish to take advantage of extremely low interest rates,” stated Parish President Natalie Robottom.
In other news, three long awaited bond projects are nearing completion. The SJA/Persimmon Street Drainage Improvement Project is 95% complete and the Homewood Drainage Improvement Project is on track to be completed by the end of February. “Residents in this area are excited this project is almost complete. In the event of a heavy rainfall or a storm, I will ensure the pumps are working properly as it is important the new pumps do the job that is needed for this area,” explained Councilman District 3, Lennix Madere. A third project, the West Bank Airnasium is scheduled for substantial completion by the end of March.