Last year, the Pittsburg City Commission asked city finance director Jon Garrison to determine what was, in effect, the city’s credit card limit. At Tuesday’s commission meeting, Garrison reviewed how close the city is to that limit.

Last year, the Pittsburg City Commission asked city finance director Jon Garrison to determine what was, in effect, the city’s credit card limit. At Tuesday’s commission meeting, Garrison reviewed how close the city is to that limit.

As the city was facing a number of major projects last summer, Garrison told the commissioners that in order to stay under the current nine-mill levy, the city had leeway of $4.5 million. Tuesday, Garrison said the city had a little more than $1 million remaining of that bonding authority.

“[Last summer], we had the growth to absorb a $4.5 million in general obligation debt and stay under the nine mills levied for several years,” Garrison said. “In addition to all other projects, we were able to absorb these projects and stay under those nine mills and still have $1.2, $1.3 million in case something comes up in the future.”

Garrison shared six major projects that have been assigned already that have used up some of that bonding authority.

The first is a project that was completed just this week — the Atkinson Road Bridge. The total costs on that project were close to $589,000, and new bonds came in close to $482,000.

The Homer Street paving project, which has already been completed, will cost the city another $358,000 in new bonds.

As far as new or incomplete projects, the Quincy Street improvements, which have been narrowed in size and scope, will have a total price tag of $3.246 million. But thanks to grants and other funding sources, the city will pay close to $1.5 million in new bonds. That project is to be let in 2014.

The repairs at 20th and Broadway are also to be paid for through bond. The project has increased in total costs to $1.98 million because of unanticipated water, wastewater and storm sewer improvements that will need to be made during the improvement of the intersection. Thanks to state grants, other bonding sources and other costs, the project will add $513,000 in general obligation bonds to the city’s ledgers. This project will be put up for bid in May 2013.

A KLINK resurfacing project of Broadway from Second Street to Quincy Street with a total cost of $1.5 million, will cost an additional $330,000 in general obligation bonds after grants and other city bonding sources (water/wastewater utility bonds and stormwater utility bonds) are taken into account. This project is scheduled to go to bid in 2012.

A final project, the $1 million improvements at Centennial and Broadway, will not come out of bonding authority, but rather out of grants and economic development funds.

All told, that leaves the city paying roughly $3.222 million of its roughly $4.5 million remaining bonding authority.

However, that may not be completely accurate, either. Garrison and Pittsburg Public Works Director Bill Beasley noted a surprise project, an “arched storm sewer” likely from the early 1900s that is underneath Taylor Street has collapsed, and will require city crews to remove the street to see how to repair the project will likely cost the city “a couple hundred thousand” to replace that.”

While those funds will come out of the stormwater utility bonds, that will mean funding for other projects, like the 20th and Broadway improvements or the Broadway resurfacing efforts, will likely have to come out of the general obligation bonds.

“Even if it’s $200,000 to $300,000, that still moves us to $3.5 million. We have a $4.5 million cushion,” Garrison said. “It is good news that those six projects are booked within the existing mill levy allocation for the last several years.”

Andrew Nash can be reached at andrew.nash@morningsun.net or by calling 231-2600 ext. 140.