The Topeka City Council opted last week to spend sales tax revenue rather than bond proceeds for infrastructure improvements, which could save the city some $850,000 in interest costs.

City officials had proposed issuing $1.4 million of 20-year general obligation bonds for the work, combined with $100,000 in water utility revenues.

However, last week deputy city manager Randy Speaker reported that sales-tax proceeds could provide at least $1.2 million for the effort. A new citywide 0.5% sales tax will go into effect Oct. 1.

Finance director Jim Langford said the new plan would reduce the city’s interest costs from approximately $990,000 to less than $150,000.

The infrastructure projects include new sidewalks, sewer renovations, park improvements, and street and alley work.

Topeka’s general obligation debt is rated Aa3 by Moody’s Investors Service.

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