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story.lead_photo.caption Texarkana, Texas, City Hall is seen in December 2015. Photo by Gazette Staff

TEXARKANA, Texas — During a regular meeting Monday, the City Council approved refinancing multiple municipal bonds, a move expected to save the city more than $966,000 over the life of the debt.

The Council voted unanimously to refinance the bonds at lower interest rates. Rates ranging from 3.66% to 5.728% will be reduced to 1.2 % or 1.87%.

"Rates are definitely favorable right now," Chief Financial Officer Kristin Peeples said.

In response to the coronavirus outbreak, the Council also voted unanimously to cancel its regular meeting scheduled for April 13 and to give Mayor Bob Bruggeman discretion to further alter the meeting schedule in the future. Bruggeman said that the Council's April 27 meeting is tentative.

The Council also voted unanimously to extend a declaration of disaster Bruggeman issued March 18. By state law, such a declaration must be extended by a local governing body within seven days. It will now remain in effect until canceled by the Council.

A disaster declaration allows the city to apply for state and federal funding and other resources in the event of an emergency.

The public was encouraged to watch the meeting via internet streaming to keep attendance below 10 people as ordered by Gov. Greg Abbott last week. Audience chairs in the Council chamber were spaced at least 6 feet apart.

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