Normal (IL) Council Expected to Approve Bond for Fire Station

The next phase of development in uptown Normal is coming into focus, thanks in part to $10 million in new bonds expected to be approved Monday night.

The City Council will consider approving a borrowing package that includes $4 million for the town’s future headquarters fire station; $3.2 million for uptown improvements including work on an underpass; and $2.8 million for an office, residential and restaurant building across the street from City Hall.

The mixed-use building project is set to appear before the council March 7, clearing the way for construction to begin late spring with the building opening in early 2017, said City Manager Mark Peterson.

The building is expected to include a restaurant on the first floor; offices on the second; apartments on the third, fourth and fifth; and parking underneath.

Construction of the $8 million fire station is set to begin this summer in the 600 block of South Main Street and open next fall. It’s part of an overhaul of Normal’s fire operations that also includes replacing its other two stations.

The money also could be used for early work on the other two fire stations.

The town also will save $1 million by refunding $10 million in bonds first issued in 2006, pending council approval. The new bonds will lower the current 4.36 percent interest rate, according to a memo by Finance Director Andrew Huhn.

The new bonds would be paid over the next 25 years, but the town has the option to extend that term to 30 years. The refunding process won’t change the payment schedule for the 2006 bonds, which ends with the 2033 tax levy.

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