Ellis County eyes $5.4M bond for road, bridge work

HAYS — Ellis County may issue up to $5.4 million in general obligation bonds to pay for about a dozen or so road and bridge repair projects over the next few years.

The Ellis County Commissioners will meet with financial and legal advisors Ranson Citycode Financial, Wichita, during their May 18 meeting to go over a list of projects and estimated costs.

The county will repay the bonds from proceeds of a quarter-cent general purpose sales tax that Ellis County voters approved in April. The countywide tax goes into effect Oct. 1 and runs for 10 years.

The Kansas Department of Revenue estimates the county’s share of the tax revenue will be $700,000 to $715,000 annually, said interim county administrator Darin Myers.

The county, however, estimates the revenue will be closer to $650,000 or $660,000, Myers told the commissioners during their regular Monday evening meeting at the Ellis County Administrative Center, 718 Main.

He calculated the possibilities assuming a more conservative $600,000.

“A five-year bond would be able to get us about $2.8 million, which is only about two-thirds of what we actually need for the projects that we identified, and not giving us any wiggle room for any higher costs or estimates on any of those projects,” Myers said.

A 10-year bond would get the county $5.4 million, he said.