Duluth City Council issues bonds in emergency meetingIn a rare move, the Duluth City Council called an emergency meeting Thursday night to handle what’s usually a routine and mundane bit of business.
By: Peter Passi, Duluth News Tribune
In a rare move, the Duluth City Council called an emergency meeting Thursday night to handle what’s usually a routine and mundane bit of business.
Prior to a scheduled agenda meeting, the council held a previously unscheduled emergency meeting to approve the sale of $7.6 million in bonds, financing the finishing touches on a new terminal plus additional parking at Duluth International Airport.
The Minnesota Open Meetings Law requires the city to provide at least three days’ public notice before any meeting where the council plans to take action. But City Attorney Gunnar Johnson said there is a special provision that allows for an emergency meeting to be called on shorter notice.
The city offered up the bonds and received six bids on Thursday, and was required to formally award the bonds later the same day.
City Bond Counsel Bob Toftey said that unless the council took formal action Thursday, it would need to seek new bids, starting the process over.
He said that the city opened bids Thursday morning, and the markets had drifted higher through the day.
“If we opened new bids tomorrow, they would be at a higher rate than they are today,” he said.
Toftey suggested it would be financially advantageous for the city to lock in the low 2.68 percent interest it was offered Thursday on the 15-year bonds it plans to issue.
He didn’t know what went wrong in providing adequate notice of what should have been a routine special council meeting.
“For some reason, there was a glitch in the process. I don’t know why,” he said.