Waterfront bond debt less than anticipated

September 29, 2010
By David Liscio/The Daily Item

Mayor Judith Flanagan Kennedy said Wednesday the $1 million in savings from National Grid's ability to complete the Lynnway power line relocation project under budget means Lynn taxpayers will face less bond debt.

The electrical power project - a vital piece of the waterfront master redevelopment plan - was expected to cost $6.5 million. The city received $2.5 million in government grants and the City Council voted to bond the remaining $4 million.

When city officials learned earlier this month that National Grid finished the project at a cost of $3 million instead of $4 million, it was unclear how the savings would impact the municipal budget or the local tax rate.

Kennedy compared the situation to having a credit card limit of $4,000.

"Just because the credit card company says you can spend up to $4,000 doesn't mean you should," she said. "You should spend only what is necessary. In our case, that amount is $3 million, not $4 million. So we will not be in such great debt."

City Development Director James Marsh agreed with the mayor.

"It's not like we just received $1 million and have to decide how to spend it," he said. "The $1 million never really existed. It was just a representation of debt that we didn't have to absorb. That's good news."

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