In what members said was an attempt to provide the community with a more approachable venue in which to see government at work, the Pittsburg City Commission convened a meeting Tuesday night in a picnic shelter at Lincoln Park.
In attendance was the city’s new city manager, Daron Hall, as well as several department heads, but only a few residents turned out for the meeting.
While commissioners expressed disappointment, they said they still were leaving the meeting enthusiastic after good news from financial adviser Tom Kaleko.
Earlier in the day, “really, really, really good rates” were received on several of the city’s temporary notes and general obligation bonds up for bid, Kaleko told the commission.
Two debt obligations in the form of two-year temporary notes were sold to Country Club Bank for $1.55 million, which will be used for temporary financing for road projects on Quincy Street, the intersection of 20th Street and Broadway, and from Second Street to Quincy Street on Broadway.
Ten-year general obligation bonds also were sold to Country Club Bank for $855,000 to pay off temporary notes taken out last year for the Atkinson Bridge repair project and improvements to Homer Street.
Kaleko told the commission the interest rates were at 0.54 percent for the temporary notes and 1.5 percent for the general obligation bonds, which he attributed to the city’s high credit rating from Moody’s.
The report from Moody’s praised the city’s “very satisfactory financial operation,” noted the institutional presence of Pittsburg State University and Via Christi Hospital, and gave high marks for the city’s strong reserves.
Kaleko described the financial project as a six week effort that culminated in good results.
The commission approved the ordinance and resolution authorizing the issuance of the bonds and notes.
In other business:
The commission approved a request to rezone 408 E. Monroe from R-2 (two-family residential) to RP-3 (planned medium density residential) to allow for the construction of a 13-unit apartment complex by Kevin Seward of Seward Rentals, Pittsburg.
“It looks like it will be a nice addition to our housing stock,” said Commissioner Patrick O’Bryan.
City Manager Daron Hall said that at the next commission meeting, he planned to submit a draft of next year’s budget — due by the end of July — that will hold a “big change in format.” The change includes breaking it down into departments and services in order to help establish performance indicators. It’s one of his top priorities in his first month on the job, he said.