Katy City Council discussed and approved the methods for selling bonds approved by voters May 5 and approved execution of a contract with Aqua-Metrics to install upgrades to the city’s water meters. The sale of $4.4 million in bonds was also approved for Fort Bend County Municipal Utility District No. 161. Here are three things to know from the City Council meeting Monday night:
1. City of Katy permanent improvement bonds totaling $9 million to be sold
The city of Katy is working with RBC Capital Markets to sell the bonds, which were approved by voters on May 5. This is the first group of bonds that will total $19.5 million once all of the bonds approved by voters are sold. The city will sell the bonds in the form of bank loans through commercial banks that will be arranged by the city’s accounting firm, RBC Capital Markets. The council voted unanimously to permit RBC to move forward with the transaction, which Matthew Dustin, director of Municipal Finance at RBC, hopes to have approved by the council June 25 and the sale or loan closure finalized by July 25.
Dustin said RBC hopes to get a rate as low as 1.79 percent on a loan term of 15 years for the bonds. He expects the city to obtain half a dozen competitive bids by offering through a private bidding opportunity rather than a public offering that would likely offer a rate of about 3 percent, especially with interest rates on the rise.
“There’s still a strong market especially for a name like Katy,” Dustin said.
2. New water meters and automated meter monitoring to be installed in Katy
The city will move forward with replacing the meters and automated meter monitoring systems throughout the city after a 5-0 vote in favor of a new contract with Aqua-Metrics. The new Sensus brand hardware and software will free up city staff who had been driving routes to collect data and will instead upload data automatically to a cloud-based data collection system, according to Aqua-Metrics representative Clint Arnold. Arnold said the new system will allow residents to monitor their water usage in real time and help them manage their water bills and conserve water.
Katy Mayor Chuck Brawner said the new system will eliminate the need to have a member of the city’s staff driving a route to read the city’s approximately 7,000 water meters. The new meters should be installed by the end of the year throughout the city.
3. Fort Bend County Municipal Utility District No. 161 to sell more than $4.4 million in bonds
The City Council voted to allow the MUD to move forward with the sale of the bonds, which will be used to reimburse the developers of The Reserve at Katy for construction of underground utilities within the development. The bonds will be the responsibility of the MUD to repay and will not affect the city’s credit rating. The agreement between the MUD and the city requires the MUD to obtain the city’s permission to issue the bonds.