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Board authorizes $6 million bond issue to fund Public Works projects

By Bill Short

Flag City LogoThe Millington Board of Mayor and Aldermen unanimously adopted a resolution this week that  authorizes a $6 million bond issue to fund Public Works projects.
Board members took the action Monday night during their regular monthly meeting on a motion offered by Alderman Bethany Huffman and seconded by Alderman Hank Hawkins.
The resolution authorizes the city to incur $6 million of bonded indebtedness by the execution of a loan agreement with the Public Building Authority of Clarksville to provide the funding.
Mayor Terry Jones said that, under the agreement, the board will receive the loan at a 3.02-percent interest rate that will be “locked in” for three years.
“It’s like a line of credit,” he said. “If we don’t need the whole $6 million, we won’t use the whole $6 million.”
City Finance Director John Trusty noted that interest rates have begun to increase slightly. Although the bank has “held” the rate, he said it would have been increased if the board had not been in the process of obtaining the loan agreement.
In response to Huffman’s request at the board’s July 13 meeting, Trusty and City Manager Ed Haley prepared a “detailed list” of the Public Works projects that “absolutely need” to be done and presented it at the board’s “work session” last Thursday afternoon.
Trusty said the items covered by the bond issue are:
(1) $3,019,000 for street and drainage improvements;
(2) $1.2 million for HVAC replacement and other energy-conservation projects;
(3) $1 million to help the school system renovate the high school annex building;
(4) $270,000 for roof replacement or major roof repairs on city buildings;
(5) $250,000 for police cars;
(6) $175,000 for fire building renovations;
(7) $86,000 for a dump truck with a salt spreader and snow plow
Trusty said all those items were in the Capital Improvements Budget that the board adopted for the current fiscal year.
Huffman thanked Haley and all the city employees for the work they have done during the past several months to compile the “long-overdue list of deferred maintenance” items.
“We have always wanted to do a little bit at a time,” she said, “and we never seem to come up with that little bit. I think you’re all going to be pleased with what happens with these funds.”
Alderman Mike Caruthers noted that he had opposed the board’s original plan for a $5 million bond issue to fund Public Works projects and had proposed using the half-cent sales tax increase to help fund the school system.
He called the list a “compromise” that he is willing to support, because it includes the $1 million that the school system “desperately needs” for its Capital Improvements Program this year.
Caruthers asked Dr. David Roper, superintendent of Millington Municipal Schools, about the status of capital improvement funds from the Shelby County Commission.
“The indication we got is that they will be significantly delayed,” Roper replied, “and we may not receive them at all.”
Caruthers also said he talked with Roper and School Board Chairman Don Holsinger at the work session about revising the school system’s Five-Year Plan for capital improvements.
He noted that the Fleming & Associates architectural firm prepared a $25 million plan six years ago, when Millington’s four schools were in the county school system.
“I’m not sure we can do something like that over the next five years,” he said. “We’ve got to get more realistic. So, we need to take another hard look at it.”
Because the city board now has a “good line of communication” established with the school board, Caruthers urged them to “mutually and jointly” come up with something that the city and the schools can “live with.”

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