Council to consider financial adviser
by DAVID DAVIS, Managing Editor
Sep 25, 2012 | 920 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
City Manager Janice Casteel advised Council members Monday a financial adviser would be needed if the city incurs fixed-rate debt.

The City Council terminated its professional services contract with Morgan Keegan on July 11, by a vote of 5-2. The city has issued only variable-rate bonds through the Tennessee Municipal Bond Fund since then.

Casteel said the city could continue without a financial adviser as long as it issued only variable rate debt but the Council might consider issuing fixed rate debt in the future.

“All I’m saying is, if you want to use fixed-rate debt, give me a little time and we’ll need a financial adviser,” Casteel said.

Casteel said the next issuance would be for the Spring Branch Industrial Park. The city, Bradley County and Cleveland Utilities are equally sharing the $6 million cost. She said the utility will issue debt, but the Council previously agreed to cover Bradley County’s $2 million share until 2016.

“Using fixed-rate debt for that issue doesn’t really make sense when half of that debt is going to be repaid in just a few years,” Casteel said.

The next debt beyond that would most likely be $2 million for the Southeast Tennessee Veterans Home.

“It doesn’t really make sense to issue fixed-rate debt for that one either, because you’re going to have the architect’s fees. That would be the first thing you would do and then draw down as construction begins. We don’t have any assurance we’ll be able to construct next year. We’re hoping to be able to,” she said. “The we have the new airport. We need to sell the current site first before we determine how much debt we need.”

In the continuing discussion of moving toward a no-kill animal shelter, Casteel said the city is trying to provide more emergency medical care for animals until they are adopted.

“If we know the owner, then we are charging those fees to the owner when they pick the animal up, but if it’s those animals that we’re unable to identify the owner, you’re only going to get a $50 adoption fee,” she said.

Casteel said she will discuss a “drop-off fee” with the Animal Shelter Advisory Board as a source of revenue.

The city manager said the city has a fund for donations; but so far, there has been one $500 donation and that was for adoption fees, not medical care.

Other agenda items included a public hearing to hear comments concerning the Consolidated Annual Performance Evaluation for the 2011-12 Community Development Block Grant Program. Public hearings are designed to provide citizens an opportunity to express views regarding housing and community development needs within the designated target area for the 2013 Action Plan.

Action plan activities must benefit low- and moderate-income families; aid in preventing or eliminating slums and blight; and address other community development needs that have a particular urgency that pose serious and immediate threats to the health and welfare of the community.