Members of the Barron City Council are scheduled to make a final decision next month on refinancing the city’s long-term debt, with the goal of allowing the city to borrow money to finance proposed improvements such as a new City Hall and an initial phase of construction for part of La Salle Avenue.

The council discussed the borrowing package at its regular monthly meeting Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2020.

Financial adviser Tim Mullen, an executive with Milwaukee-based Robert W. Baird & Co., made a video appearance before the council to outline the proposed refinancing.

If the city chooses to proceed, it would make an initial debt payment of about $351,000 as part of its 2021 municipal budget, according to Mullen and Liz Jacobson, city manager.

If approved, the refinancing could set the stage for a proposed $3.5 million in additional borrowing during 2022, the council learned.

The city now has a total long-term debt of $1,279,047, including money owned for utility improvements in its tax increment districts, Rolling Oaks Golf Course, and other expenses.

Council members were told that refinancing the debt will enable the city to borrow additional funds to build a new City Hall and finance a local share of the first phase of La Salle Avenue.

The city recently got a $1 million federal grant to help pay for improvements on La Salle Avenue between Seventh and Eleventh streets (the neighborhood immediately east of the downtown business district).

If it takes place, the project will replace century-old underground utilities including storm and sanitary sewers and water lines. It also includes new street pavement, curbs, gutters, and sidewalks.