The Modesto City Council on Tuesday:
Reissued $52 million in water system bonds to get them out of a volatile trading market that drove up city expenses. They were financed in 2006 as auction rate securities, which have rates that are set at weekly bank auctions. Those rates began to climb in February as the subprime lending crisis worsened. The council chose to reissue the bonds in another variable market, which is expected to save the city
$40 million in interest costs over time compared with the auction-rate market, and about $13 million compared with a fixed-rate plan. Council members Janice Keating and Will O'Bryant favored the fixed-rate option, saying it offered less risk.
Ayes: Mayor Jim Ridenour, Council members Brad Hawn, Dave Lopez, Garrad Marsh and Kristin Olsen
Nays: Keating and O'Bryant
All other votes were unanimous.
Agreed to buy 23 trucks for the Public Works Department for $631,141.
Implemented planning guidelines that will allow schools and colleges to use electronic marquees.
Approved a contract for recently promoted City Clerk Stephanie Lopez. She will earn $96,200 a year.
Increased charges at Modesto Airport by 2.8 percent, which could raise an additional $13,200. The fees are for a mix of aviation services.
Approved a five-year contract with Storer Transit to operate Dial-A-Ride service. The company can earn about $2.5 million a year.
Extended SkyWest Airlines' agreement to fly from Modesto Airport to San Francisco through 2009.
Appointed Hawn as the council's representative for regional planning talks on utilities.
Hired Oakdale-based Mozingo Construction to build $2.7 million worth of water system improvements.