Fulton pays off city bond early, holds bond-burning ceremony

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FULTON - The city of Fulton paid off a $4.8 million dollar bond five years earlier than anticipated, and celebrated by hosting a bond-burning ceremony Tuesday.

City officials and members of the community came together to celebrate a 20-year bond, retired five years early, by burning a replica of the bond Tuesday evening.

The city originally issued the bond in Spring of 1999 with the intention to pay off the bond in 2019. In 2010 the city defused the original bond and reissued it at a lower interest rate.

A major function outlined in the bond included the creation of infrastructure for the Fulton Dollar General distribution center. After operating for 15 years, the center employs 650 people living in mid-Missouri.

Dollar General Operations Manager Joseph Hunter said building the infrastructure for the company was an integral piece because of the high volume of traffic needed for operation.

"For us it's been a great partnership with the city of Fulton. We're grateful for Fulton... We're glad to call it home," Hunter said.

The city's Chief Financial Officer Kathy Holschlage said two community TIFs allowed the city to prepay most of the debt on the bonds.

"It helps the city retire that debt. It also helps the taxing entities, " Holschlage said. "Just because the bond is paid off, the TIF will remain in existence."

Holschlage said the remainder of the district TIFs would continue to benefit the community.

"This is a major accomplishment. Five years early just does not happen frequently," she said.

The city plans to use the remainder of the TIFs to fund public establishments throughout the city.