City to raise $3.8 million through municipal bond sale

Cumberland City Hall

CUMBERLAND —  The mayor and City Council voted Tuesday to raise $3.8 million through a municipal bond sale for a variety of improvements, including purchasing a new fire truck and additional street paving work.

Mayor Ray Morriss and the four-member City Council voted unanimously to approve raising the funds through the sale of General Obligation Series B Infrastructure Bonds.

News of the bond sale was disclosed at the regular meeting of the council at City Hall. City Administrator Jeff Rhodes explained how the funds will be used.

“There are probably 50 different projects that will get taken care of, but the higher end items included a new ladder truck for the Cumberland Fire Department,” said Rhodes. “It will provide financing (to replace) a 27-year-old ladder truck. This will allow for the purchase of a new one.

“It will also provide for a chassis for the International 2011 ambulance that we have. Folks may or may not recall a number of years ago we sort of had a lemon. But we were able to save the box off the back of (the ambulance). The box was very functional and our men and women liked it so we set it aside. This will provide the chassis and we will be able to put that back on the road again.

“This (funding) will allow our street paving projects to continue our efforts in that regard as well as improvements to the HVAC system here at City Hall. We had an issue this year where we had a pipe rupture in the basement and flooded part of the basement and ruined some desks.”

Rhodes said the funding will also allow for the purchase of a new utility truck and a 5-ton dump truck.

“Those were the marquee items that will be financed with the bond sale,” said Rhodes. He said the aerial ladder truck was the biggest ticket item at $1.2 million.

The City Council also approved a change order for engineering costs for the Baltimore Street Town Center Project. The project includes replacing underground utility lines and reinstalling Baltimore Street through the downtown pedestrian mall. The engineering services, provided by the EADS Group, saw an expansion in their scope of work increasing their bill $311,450 to a total of $626,246.

The total cost of the Baltimore Street project is estimated at $9 million, which includes a new cosmetic renovation of the site.

The council also approved the granting of tax credits for two entities. Rhodes said the Annotated Code of Maryland enabled the organizations to seek property tax credits.

The Allegany County Animal Shelter Management Foundation was given property tax credits for the 2016-2017 and the 2019-2020 fiscal years.

The Cumberland Outdoor Club was approved for credits for the 2019-2020 tax year.

Follow staff writer Greg Larry on Twitter @GregLarryCTN.

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