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Rail News: Passenger Rail

Bi-State funds Cross County Extension with municipal and Mini bonds


In early November, Bi-State Development Agency issued tax-exempt municipal and zero coupon Mini bonds to finance the agency’s MetroLink Cross County Extension.

Although tax-exempt municipal bonds are somewhat standard, agency officials believed the Mini bonds might appeal to non-traditional investors because of their simplicity and affordability, according to a prepared statement.

Municipal bonds typically are sold in $5,000 increments. The Mini bonds, which were available on a discounted basis from late October until Nov. 8, are expected to reach $1,000 value when they mature. And, Missouri residents will be exempt from paying federal or state taxes on the bonds. (Both types of bonds will be repaid using Proposition M funds.)

"We believe this is a great opportunity for the users of our system and area residents to make an investment in their own future by purchasing these bonds for themselves or their children," said Larry Salci, Bi-State executive director.

The Cross County Extension is a $550.3 million project that would add eight route miles and nine stations. Of the project’s total budget, $409.8 is slated toward construction and equipment. The agency plans to begin making contract package plans available in December. The first bids would be due in February and the first Notice to Proceed would be issued in March.

Officials expect to continue the bid process until June 2005 with a September 2005 NTP date. The extension is scheduled to open that year.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 11/13/2002