City to consider bond sale for airport improvements

During their Aug. 1 meeting, City Commissioners will consider issuing bonds against the Great Falls International Airport Tax Increment Financing Industrial District to help cover the cost of infrastructure improvements.

In May 2021, commissioners approved the Great Falls Airport Authority’s request for TIF funds to cover costs related to constructing water and sewer service lines, storm sewer improvements electric/data service lines and two roadway access points, according to the city.

The improvements have been constructed and accepted by the city and will be used to serve the industrial warehouse bays that have or will be constructed on the airport property.

Business Bites: Love’s underway; former Holiday Motors demolition; Touro medical school project ongoing; C.M. Russell Museum expansion underway; airport requesting TIF funds for industrial park, one tenant will be truck wash; reading at Cassiopeia [2021]

When commissioners first approved the TIF request, they approved up to $762,510 worth of reimbursement to the airport.

Since then, the construction and bidding process resulted in higher costs and the airport revised their request for a total reimbursement of $1,091,238.

In December 2022, commissioner approved the amended agreement with the airport to reimburse the airport for $400,000 of infrastructure improvement costs with TIF funds on hand and issue bonds payable from the TIF district in a principal amount sufficient to pay or reimburse the airport for up to $691,238, according to the staff report.

The city has already reimbursed the airport with $400,000 from the TIF funds on hand.

The city will reimburse the airport for $521,183.80 in issuing the bonds and the total amount reimbursed for infrastructure improvements will be $921,183.80, according to the staff report.

If commissioners approve the action, designated city officials will be authorized to determine the conditions pertaining to the negotiated sale of the Series 2023 Bonds, including whether they’ll be sold in a public offering or private placement, according to city staff.

If the bonds are sold in a public offering, D.A. Davidson and Co. will serve as the underwriter. If they’re sold in a private placement, Davidson will serve as the placement agent and solicit proposals from financial institutions for the direct purchase of the bonds, according to staff.

The purchase price, redemption features, and interest rate on the bonds will be subject to the following conditions and limitations:

  • the aggregate principal amount of the Series 2023 Bonds shall not exceed $850,000
  • the average coupon rate on the Series 2023 Bonds shall not exceed 6 percent
  • the purchase price of the Series 2023 Bonds shall not be less than 98.5 percent of the principal amount thereof; and
  • the final maturity of the Series 2023 Bonds shall not be later than 17 years from their date of issuance.

Upon final approval of the interest rate, purchase price, and other terms and conditions of the sale of the bonds, the designated city official will be authorized to enter into and execute a bond purchase agreement on behalf of the city. The form of the bonds and the final terms and conditions will be brought to commissioners in a separate resolution for final approval.