With the City Council’s approval of the Certificates of Participation (COPs) to fund the new downtown Fire Station #1 and City Center Phase I, these projects are ready to roll. Just in time as Greeley’s growth; our duplicative government administrative buildings; and construction of the hotel and conference center make these new facilities a necessity.
Funding for the projects will come from the COPs which are available for purchase by investors, including individual local investors. Access to this investment opportunity has been arranged through Stifel financial advisors, which has an office in Greeley.
Here’s how this type of funding works: Instead of buying a bond, investors actually purchase a piece of the building and property. Each year, the city makes payments and purchases a portion of the building and property. After 20 years, ownership of the building transfers to the City of Greeley. This isn’t debt or a tax increase, which would need voter approval, for three important reasons:
1) COPs only require an annual budget allocation,
2) it does not require this or future Councils to continue the agreement, and
3) taxes will not be raised to make the payments. It is much like a lease-purchase agreement, where “rent” payments are made and when the lease is up, the renter owns the property.
The City successfully used this form of financing on two other occasions: acquisition and construction of Boomerang Links and irrigation improvements at Highland Hills Golf Course, as well as construction of the Events Center at Island Grove Park.
If you’re curious about the project and financing details, go to greeleygov.com and check the news items or go to greeleygov.com/city-center.
Roy H. Otto