Local bank to finance rink/pavilion


ALAMOSA — Community Banks of Colorado will provide financing for the city’s ice rink/multipurpose facility.

The Alamosa city council this week unanimously approved the local bank for the lease purchase funding for the new facility.

“Thank you for putting this out to the banks in the community,” Councilman Charles Griego told city staff. “This is a good bid.”

Alamosa City Finance Director Judy Kelloff said the bank’s bid was considerably lower than other proposals.

Alamosa City Manager Heather Brooks said the difference between Community Banks and the next lowest proposal was $174,227.

“It’s a considerable savings for the city,” Kelloff added.

Kelloff said the city sent request for proposals to all the local banks and received a response from all but two.

Kelloff added that Community Banks has been good to work with in the past.

The bank and its parent bank, NBH Bank, will provide tax-exempt lease purchase financing for the rink/pavilion up to $2.4 million at a rate of 3.07 percent for the 20-year financing term. In comparison, the interest rate on the financing for the city’s water augmentation plan was 3.21 percent.

Community Banks requested a “mutually agreeable depository relationship” in order to obtain the 3.07 percent interest rate. Prior to receiving the proposal, the city’s investment committee had approved Kelloff’s recommendation to transfer various funds to local banks, which included $250,000 deposited in a new account at Community Banks. That deposit would satisfy the depository relationship.

In another financially related matter during Wednesday’s city council meeting, the council approved a second budget amendment for this year. Some of the budgetary changes involved pass-through grants for which the city was the fiscal agent (Community Development Block Grant for SLV Health for Oncology Wing, $500,000, and JAG Grant for the Center for Restorative Justice, $68,010) as well as a grant from USDA for $10,000 for fire department radios.

The budget adjustments also included special improvement district reimbursements including $23,666 that one property owner paid off early as well as court security related adjustments and the costs to put Wi-Fi in Cole Park. Regarding the Wi-Fi in the park, Brooks said it has already been put to use during events this summer. Mayor Josef Lucero suggested putting up signs letting the public know Wi-Fi is available there.

The city budget adjustments also included an unbudgeted amount of $8,000 for outside review of city finance department reports before they are submitted to the council, which Kelloff said provides a different set of eyes to review city finances.

Other adjustments included the purchase of a tool truck for street maintenance and a sanitation truck that had been budgeted last year but were not purchased until this year, Kelloff explained.

In another financial matter before the council this week, the city council approved a resolution designating the city as fiscal agent for a $2.3 million Inspire Initiative grant from the Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) trust fund. Andy Rice, city parks & recreation department, said the city applied last year for similar funds through a Valley-wide Inspire Initiative but was not funded. GOCO staff encouraged the city to apply on a smaller scale, as an Alamosa hub, and that request was granted.

“The whole idea is to get kids outside,” Rice explained.

The money would be used for such projects as trail access and improvements to Friends Park, which is located behind the Boys & Girls Club. Rice said the club gave the city control of that park.

Rice said this Alamosa hub, Alamosa RIO! (Recreation Inspires Opportunities), would involve five or six entities such as the Rio Grande Farm Park, Weekends on the Rio and Rio Grande Watershed Conservation and Education Initiative.