Bond sale to pay for city projects


Monitor staff

Published: 02-05-2023 4:00 PM

With the recent sale of a multi-million dollar bond, the city of Concord hopes to begin and complete many capital improvement projects this year. 

The 20-year general obligation bond was sold for $13.6 million with a 2.94% interest rate. Proceeds will be used to fund dozens of projects in the city. 

The most costly project involves nearly $5.2 million for the Hall Street Wastewater Treatment Facility in conjunction with a $760,000 grant from the American Rescue Act Plan to purchase equipment for several ongoing projects at the facility and $1.8 million to replace vehicles within the fire department. Both projects were approved by City Council in the 2023 capital budget. 

The wastewater treatment project will upgrade the Hall Street plant’s three secondary clarifiers, which were built in 1982. The clarifiers are part of a complex system of physical, chemical and biological methods used to return cleaned water to the Merrimack River.

The watery mix comes into the plant from a huge series of pipes and three enormous Archimedes screws, a design that’s been used to raise water around the world for more than 2,500 years. The project also includes replacing one of the screw pumps.

Other projects of public interest include around $400,000 that will be allocated to the golf course for improvement and equipment and $139,000 for Keach Park.

Concord enjoys an AA+ bond rating, which is due to the city’s strong economy, management and financial policies, said Concord public information officer Stefanie Breton. Overall, the city’s total direct debt is $113 million, which equals about $2,500 for every person living in Concord. 

Aside from the bond, the city budget process is in its early stages. By charter, the city manager must present a budget to the City Council by May 16.

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In 2022, Concord poured more funding into the fire department as Manor Station in Penacook when it was returned to full strength with the purchase of a new ambulance and the hiring of new emergency personnel. The Concord Police Department was also approved to hire two more patrol officers.

As part of the $123.6 million budget approved by the City Council last year, Concord taxes rose 4.8% and one-third of that increase went to the fire department for the new ambulance and crew, purchasing a new tower truck, paying overtime and upgrading the certifications of 14 emergency medical technicians to Advanced EMTs. 

This year, the city is looking to increase their public safety budget by 7% from $29.3 million to $31.47 million, according to city financial documents.