Pierz moves closer to being debt free in 10 years

By Terry Lehrke, News Editor

With a vote to pay off the remaining $110,000 for its Cassie Street Bond, the city of Pierz is one step closer to becoming debt-free in 10 years.

That’s part of a goal the Council put together several years ago and provided the city doesn’t bond for another project.

By paying off the 2.9 percent bond, the city will save $24,000 a year in payments.

“That would put the city down to just two bonds,” said Mayor Toby Egan. “It’s always nice to have $24,000 extra in a year.”

The two other bonds include a storm sewer bond in the amount of $317,000 with a 2.5 percent interest rate (paid off in 2022) and a $246,000 improvement bond for Park Avenue/Robert Street improvements at 2.45 percent interest (paid off in 2024).

“I’m all for it,” said Council Member Matt Bell. “Any time we can free up $24,000 a year, we’ve got to look at doing that.”

After some discussion about where the funds should come from, Bell suggested cashing in a $131,679.92 Certificate of Deposit (CD) that had come due, that was gaining just .9 percent in interest.

“It’s just an idea, but the more I think about it, the more I like it,” said Bell.

“It does make sense to pay off a 2.9 percent bond with money that’s getting .9 percent,” said Egan.

The Council, with Mike Menden absent, voted to use the CD money to pay off the Cassie Street bond and leave the difference in the city’s checkbook.

Pierz City Council Briefs

In other business, the Pierz City Council:

•Authorized Golf Course Superintendent Daniel Baert to call for bids for the covered bridge to be placed on Hole #4 at the golf course in memory of Bill Stoll. The final plans have been drawn up and he’d like to be able to present bids to the Park Board in August. Baert noted construction may be done in October and November after fall golf tournaments are completed;

•Approved a one-year first right of refusal agreement to purchase real estate (Lot 4, Block 1) in Industrial Park for Tom Smude;

•Clarified confusion on storm water fees implemented on existing property. Any time a building permit is required for work on the property, if no storm water fees had been paid in the past, they will be implemented;

•Approved Brian Boser as the fire chief for the next three years. The incumbent chief was the only applicant;

•Learned there was flooding at the Pierz Family Gardens and that anyone who’s plot was flooded could ask for a different plot;

•Learned the Pierz FFA under the leadership of Pat Tax was using the Pierz Family Gardens to grow produce to be used in the Farm to School lunch program;

•Learned from Pierz Police Chief Eric Hanneken that about 4,000 – 4,500 people were expected at Pierz Freedom Fest in Genola and enough officers would be on duty. Baert said the campgrounds were packed due to the Fest; and

•Learned from Hanneken there were concerns about the safety of kids riding bikes on the curve on Park Avenue near the campgrounds and golf course and that a reduced speed might be appropriate. Public Works Director Bob Otremba said he would contact the county, as it was a county road.

The next Pierz City Council meeting is Monday, July 28, at 7 p.m. at City Hall.