The Council unanimously approved a plan to use long-term borrowing to pay for the estimated $27 million project. The city plans to sell $23.1 million in municipal bonds that would be paid off in 25 years.
“It’s been a long time in coming,” Mayor Jim Smith said after the meeting.
Smith announced earlier this month that the city would abandon the plan to assess landowners near the interchange to pay for a portion of the project. He said after the meeting the city had always planned to pay back those landowners if that’s the route the city took, but the issue didn’t sit well with some who felt it was unfair for them to be taxed since the whole city benefits from the project.
Under that proposal, landowners would have paid up to $9 million for the interchange.
Now, the city will share the cost with the Richard E. Jacobs Group LLC, which owns about 400 acres in Avon, half of which is near the interchange site. The company will pay about a third of the project’s cost, Smith said.
The city received even more good news Friday regarding its ability to pay for the project. Moody’s Investor Services gave the city a MIG 1 rating – the highest the city could receive. The rating came after city officials discussed with Moody’s their plan for the interchange project.
The interchange is expected to open in early 2013, and a $100 million Cleveland Clinic medical center will open late this year in anticipation of the project. Additional development is expected as a result, including shopping, restaurants and a hotel.
Contact Adam Wright at 329-7155 or firstname.lastname@example.org.