Ocean Beach secures $2.6M bond for repairs
The Village of Ocean Beach last week closed on a $2.6 million, 15-year bond that clerk-treasurer Steve Brautigam said will fund some long-scheduled, non-Sandy-related improvements to village infrastructure.
Brautigam said he was able to secure a 1.69 percent interest rate for the bond, the lowest interest rate in the village's history, adding that the small Fire Island municipality will ultimately save about $235,000 because of the low rates.
Before the village closed on the bond, Standard & Poor's reaffirmed Ocean Beach's AA credit rating, he added.
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"It's unprecedented that a village our size got a rate of 1.69 percent, and to keep our rating in these economic times and after Sandy," Brautigam said, citing the village's sound financial footing.
About $700,000 will go to repairs on Village Hall. These fixes were scheduled before superstorm Sandy hit but they will also help repair the flood damage sustained in the storm. The rest of the money will go toward sidewalk repairs and partially toward rebuilding the village's ferry terminal, which was severely damaged during Sandy but was in need of repairs even before that.
Ocean Beach officials have estimated the cost of fixing the ferry terminal and boathouse at as much as $1 million.
Brautigam said Ocean Beach only lost 1 percent to 2 percent of its assessed value in the wake of the storm, which destroyed a few houses in the village. The total assessed value of the village is currently more than $35 million, he said.
Brautigam said he hopes to have the work on Village Hall done before summer. Village code has an ordinance against construction during summer months, and Brautigam said village officials hope to honor it.