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Posted on: December 26, 2022

Mansfield issues $13.4-million bond sale to fund new trails while lowering taxes

Walnut Creek Linear Trail

The Mansfield City Council has begun receiving the approved $13,440,000 in funding from the issuance and sale of bonds.

The City of Mansfield sold General Obligation Refunding and Improvement bonds to begin the design and construction of the Walnut Creek Linear Trail expansion project. This financial decision allows the project to move forward without increasing the tax rate. Instead, the City Council decreased its tax rate for Fiscal Year 2023.

“It is good to say we did not have to carry out the voter-approved tax increase to give residents the linear trail they want, in fact we decreased the tax rate,” Mayor Michael Evans said. “This is only possible thanks to years of smart financial operations and budgeting.”

The voters approved increasing the tax rate to fund this project during the spring 2022 bond election. 

Of the $13.4-million, $5.25-million is allocated for the linear trail. The remainder will refund previous debt. Financial maneuvers like this are possible due to the city’s conservative budgeting, strong operations, and healthy economy.

“Members of our team have worked diligently to provide noteworthy essential services and the remarkable experiences that our residents have come to expect," said City Manager Joe Smolinski. "Their commitment to strong fiscal stewardship is evidenced by the fact that they were able to deliver this project without passing through the voter-approved tax rate increase."

Through the early redemption of past bonds, the City Council has saved more than $1.5-million in interest savings over the past 12-18 months. 

“Every bit we save expands our capacity to do more for our city,” Councilman Casey Lewis said. 

The City of Mansfield has a Triple-A Bond Rating from Standard & Poor’s and high ratings from the other rating agencies citing the city’s strong financial position.

The trail expansion is currently in the design and acquisition phase with construction scheduled to begin mid 2023.

This debt issuance is accompanied by a $52-million sale that will be used to fund the construction of a  new police headquarters, street capital projects, the design of a new Animal Care facility, and the design of  an expansion at the Chris W. Burkett Service Center.

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