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  • First bonds sold for new Pima Animal Care Center

    Apr 23, 2015 | Read More News
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    The first set of general obligation bonds for Pima County's new and improved animal shelter were sold March 24, marking the next step forward in the Pima Animal Care Center Bond project. The $2 million in general obligation bonds sold will cover the project's initial planning and development costs. The interest rate is 2.53 percent and the bonds will be repaid over a 15-year term.

    “I am so happy that we’re moving so quickly on this large project,” said Kristin Barney, Pima Animal Care Center’s chief of operations. “We’re interviewing finalists for the architectural team this week, we’ve put out requests for submissions for the contractor, and now we’ve sold the first bonds. Next week, we have the kick-off meeting for the Integrative Concept Design team. It is a very exciting time for everyone who cares about animals in Pima County.”

    Pima County voters approved Proposition 415 on Nov. 4 as part of a bond election, the first County bond election since 2006. This approval authorized the County to borrow up to $22 million to improve Pima County's animal care facility to accommodate the thousands of animals brought yearly to the shelter and to allow for more modern animal care practices.  

    General obligation bonds are a common form of financing used by cities, towns, counties, school districts and other local governments to fund capital improvement projects. The bonds are sold to investors and the revenue generated funds the projects. They are attractive to investors because the interest earned is typically tax-exempt. In the case of Pima County, the County then levies an annual property tax to repay the bonds. The County also varies the amount of bonds sold each year in order to prevent property taxes from varying considerably from one year to another.

    Pima County Director of Facilities Management Michael Kirk is leading this project. One of the largest challenges this project faces is that the current Pima Animal Care Center shelter has to remain in operation while the new facility is being constructed.

    In the immediate future, constituents can expect the following next steps in the process:
    • June 2015: Architectural team and general contractor selected and under contract.
    • July 2015: Design team planning session scheduled
    • August 2015: Community planning session scheduled
    • August 2015: Sustainability planning session scheduled
    • Fall 2015: Completion of Design
    • TBA: Groundbreaking ceremony and beginning of construction