Council to consider paying off Cummins bonds early

Columbus City Council will be considering a plan tonight that could save the city nearly $2.5 million dollars by paying off bonds for a Cummins improvement project early.

The Columbus Redevelopment Commission is making the request of the city to spend about $15 million to pay off the bonds early. The bonds are not due to be paid off until 2031, which would cost the city about $17.5 million. But the early payoff comes with a 4 percent discount.

The city set up a special taxing unit for Cummins Engine Plant in 2009, with the money paid in taxes going to pay off $12 million in bonds issued for improvements to the plant and its facilities. However, the property taxes coming in have exceeded the bond payments over the years, leaving more than $20 million in the unit’s fund.

The Columbus Redevelopment Commission approved the plan last month, but because of a $500,000 spending limit on the commission, the spending must be approved by the Columbus City Council.

Council meets at 6 p.m. tonight at Columbus City Hall.