CLINTON — Clinton’s infrastructure needs are great, interest rates on loans are low and the city’s financial standing is in good shape.

Whether that will be enough for the Clinton City Council to pull the trigger on approving millions of dollars in debt to fund projects at the risk of a hike in property tax bills is yet to be seen.

Judging from Tuesday’s City Council, all indications point to yes. But how far officials are willing to go is still being worked out.

The Committee of the Whole unanimously approved about $4.5 million in bonding Tuesday to fund the purchasing of property at the proposed Lincolnway Railport site and street construction work at Liberty Square.

The council could decide at a future meeting to expand that amount by adding more roads to the existing 107-block plan, fund the remaining portion needed for the extension of 19th Avenue North and make improvements to bike trails.

However, that will likely come at an increased expense to taxpayers. Clinton Finance Director Debbie Neels said a 68-cent hike per $1,000 of assessed value, based on current property values, would be in store with the approval of a $4.5 million bond.

That number could jump depending on what the council decides. A proposal could be voted on at the next council meeting or be sent back to a committee for further debate.

Some people in town already saw about a $60 increase when they received their property tax bill earlier this month. Residents have also looked at higher sewer bills in the mail. With the construction of a new $66 million wastewater treatment plant, those sewer bills are expected to go up more.

Whether the council will expand the amount it will bond to repair roads and invest in other projects remains uncertain but council members said they recognize the need for improvements in Clinton.

“The majority of calls I receive are from people asking about repairing roads,” said At-Large Councilman Mark Vulich.

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