Jessica Fisher

Mystery Bonds

Jessica Fisher, Public Information Assistant, 509.625.6749

Tuesday, February 16, 2021 at 2:20 p.m.

Mystery Bonds

The City of Spokane’s Treasurer's Office has had several inquiries about municipal bonds issued from 1899 to 1912! These special improvement and local improvement bonds were used to fund numerous public works projects throughout the City in the early 1900’s.

The Treasurer’s Office has seen bonds for multiple projects including Howard Street grade, sidewalk and paving improvements, Washington Street sewer improvements, Hatch Street grade and sidewalk improvements, Normandie Street curb and sidewalk improvements, and more!

While these bonds are unique historical documents, the Treasurer's Office has determined that they are not of any monetary value.

Section 47 of the bond document states, “shall be payable on or before a date not to exceed ten years from and after the date of the issue of such bonds…” These bonds are payable solely from collected assessments on the properties within the local improvement district. This means that if folks did not or were not able to pay those assessments, the city would not have the means to pay the bonds. Which is why in Section 52, “neither the holder nor owner of any bond issued under the authority of this act shall have any claim therefore against the city...”

The City of Spokane suspects that this is the reason why these bonds were never redeemed, there was no money for which to pay them. As such, the only value these bonds hold is that of unique historical documents.

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