Iowa’s debt statewide is at an all time high at nearly $14.5 billion. That’s up nearly 40% over five years. In Pella this city holds about $8.9 million dollars in debt. City Administrator Mike Nardini says that the city has made great strides in reducing debt for the last 8 years. He says that the city’s debt has been reduced by 76% in that time period, and unrestricted operating reserves have increased 27%. He also notes the city has maintained one of the lowest property tax rates in Iowa for a mid-sized city. The Pella Community School District holds a little over $22.7 million in debt.
The City of Knoxville has around $15.8 million in debt, more than half of which is in sewer revenue bonds. City Manager Harold Stewart says those are for sewer infrastructure and improvements and do not count against the state imposed debt limit for the City. They using about $7.1 million of their $13 million dollar debt limit. That includes $5.2 million dollars in General Obligation bonds issued in 2003 and 2005 as well as $1.7 million in Capital loan Notes for sewer improvements.
The Knoxville School District debt is currently at $10.4 million. Business manager Craig Mobley says includes about $780,000 on the high school that will be paid off next summer. There’s also $3.1 million in revenue bonds to construct additions and complete energy efficiency projects and $6.6 million for the auditorium.