Finance board approves $350 million in bonds | NevadaAppeal.com

Finance board approves $350 million in bonds

The state Board of Finance approved the sale of $353 million in bonds Tuesday to finance state and university construction projects and major highway projects approved by the Legislature.

A total of $200 million is in highway construction bonds, which will be repaid by federal highway funds generated by the motor-vehicle fuel tax.

Robert Chisel, of the Nevada Department of Transportation, said all that money will go to the “mega-projects” – the Carson bypass and I-580 project between Mount Rose Highway and Washoe Valley, the widening of Highway 95 in Las Vegas, the Henderson I-15/215 interchange and the Hoover Dam bypass.

The road construction bonding program has been in progress since 2000.

Another $135 million in bonds is proposed for the 2007-08 biennial budget, which will bring total outstanding NDOT bonds to $1 billion.

The $150 million in capital-improvement bonds will be used on construction projects approved by the 2001, 2003 and 2005 legislative sessions. Those include university buildings now ready to go to bid and other state projects.

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The bonds will fund $118 million in projects authorized by the 2005 Legislature which are now ready to go to bid.

The list also includes $31 million in construction from the 2003 session and the final $742,853 worth of work remaining from the 2001 Legislature.

Officials from the state Treasurer’s Office say they are aiming for an interest rate of 4.7 percent on the capital-improvement bonds and a rate as low as 4.5 percent on the highway bonds. All the bonds would be amortized over 20 years.

In addition, the board chaired by Gov. Kenny Guinn authorized issuance of $3.3 million in Safe Drinking Water Act revolving-fund bonds. Robin Reedy, of the Treasurer’s Office, said the federal government has been providing more than 80 percent of the total cost of those projects.

The state’s $3.3 million is the remaining cost.

Finally, the board approved $14 million refinancing of existing bonds. Treasurer Brian Krolicki pointed out the refinancings will save the state about 6 percent by getting a lowered interest rate on those bonds.

• Contact reporter Geoff Dornan at gdornan@nevadaappeal.com or 687-8750.