The new policy was required by the state comptroller to be in place by Jan. 1, 2012. Written debt management policies were not required in the past. The new policy helps ensure financing undertaken by the county has certain clear, objective standards which allow the county to protect its financial resources in order to meet its long-term capital needs.
Ten of the 14 commissioners were present at the meeting Monday evening at the Bradley County Courthouse. Those absent were Chairman Louie Alford, Brian Smith, 3rd District; Jeff Yarber, 5th District; and Adam Lowe, 4th District.
Three rezoning requests on the agenda passed by a 10-0 vote. The debt management policy was approved by a 9-1 vote. The new policy was recommended for approval by the Finance Committee on Wednesday and placed in each commissioner’s mailbox for distribution. However, 4th District Commissioner Cliff Eason said he overlooked the document, had not read it, and therefore could not support it.
Bradley County Mayor D. Gary Davis said the “wordy” document is required by the state, “but if something comes up in the future that you want to change, it’s your policy, you can change it at any time.”
Finance Committee Chair Connie Wilson said Bradley County already adheres to most of the policies and “our policy does meet all of the state requirements.”
The policy defines procedures for issuing debt, credit quality and credit enhancement, affordability, debt structure, debt types, refinancing outstanding debt, methods of issuance, professionals, compliance and debt policy review.
The most significant paragraphs outline considerations given to hiring financial professionals and written agreements with financial professionals and attorneys representing the county in debt transactions. Written agreements must include, but are not limited to a description of services provided and fees and expenses. The county must require all financial professionals to clearly disclose all compensation and consideration received from the county and the lender or conduit issuer. Compensation and consideration includes “soft” costs or compensation in lieu of direct payments.
Other agenda items approved by the Commission included:
- Rezoning request on South Lee Highway, Boss Lane, Waco Lane from FAR (Farm Agriculture Residential) to Commercial C-3 and Industrial I-1.
- Rezoning request on 5618 Dalton Pike from C-1 to FAR.
- Rezoning request on 5984 South Lee Highway from FAR to C-2 for a recycling collection center. The recycling center must be approved by the planning commission as a conditional use in that zone.
The next meeting will be a work session on Oct. 10 at noon. The Finance Committee will meet Wednesday at noon in the Bradley County Courthouse Annex in the mayor’s conference room. The Insurance Committee will be Oct. 10, at 11:15 a.m., in the Bradley County Courthouse commission meeting room.
The meeting of the Redistricting Committee scheduled for Monday was postponed until Oct. 10 at 11 a.m.