Paying off Quincy's failed hydropower plant attempt

By Jamie Busen, WTAD News

The Quincy City Council Monday night approved a five-year plan to pay off the bonds used in the City's failed attempt to put a hydro plant at Lock and Dam 21.

The Council approved 11-2 the resolution, known as Option 3, that outlines how to pay off the more-than $7 million debt.

Third-Ward Alderman Kyle Moore and Seventh-Ward Alderman Terri Heinecke, both Republicans, were the "no" votes. Fifth-Ward Alderman Jennifer Lepper was absent.

Months ago, Moore got talks started by presenting his own plan. His plan called for using unspent money to pay down the bonds, refinancing the remaining debt, utilizing Ameren franchise revenues and trimming the general fund's expenses and expenditures.

The two series of bonds are due in 2012 and 2015. The first payment, for nearly $5 million, must be deposited into an account no later than Dec. 1 of this year.

The approved plan uses $1.45 million from the City's cash reserves, $400,000 from enhancement funds and $200,000 from the Ameren franchise fee. It also takes money from the Capital Projects Fund including $120,000 obtained by delaying the training facility project for a year. About $65,000 comes from a sidewalk project on North 12th Street. Director of Administrative Services Gary Sparks said they don't have the engineering done on the project, anyway, so it's on hold. More savings comes from two police cars and a snow plow, and Sparks said Mayor John Spring surrendered his City car back into the police fleet.