City to discuss debt issuance in special meeting

Posted 3/10/20

A large chunk of the agenda for the Madisonville City Council’s regular meeting Monday was postponed for a week to meet regulations that require the posting of a call for bids to appear on the city’s website for 45 days.

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City to discuss debt issuance in special meeting

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A large chunk of the agenda for the Madisonville City Council’s regular meeting Monday was postponed for a week to meet regulations that require the posting of a call for bids to appear on the city’s website for 45 days.

“The bond attorney didn’t catch that,” City Manager Camilla Viator told council members. “They have to be on the website for 45 days and we have three days left.”

The city is accepting bids for $1.25 million in tax and revenue certificates of obligation to fund a new public safety facility for the Madisonville Police Department and renovations to City Hall.

Certificates of obligation are debt issuances allowed under state law without voter approval under strict conditions. They can only be used for construction, demolition or restoration of structures; purchase materials, supplies, equipment, machinery, buildings, land and rights of way; and pay for related professional services. Certificates are issued for terms of up to 40 years and usually are supported by property taxes or other local revenues.

The council will meet in a special meeting at 6 p.m. Monday to review bids with financial advisor U.S. Capital Advisors, and hope to select a winning bid.

“We just don’t have all the information right now,” Mayor Bill Parten said Monday night. “We don’t have the bids.”

The delay cleared off most of the agenda for the regular March meeting, leaving council members mostly with a discussion of adding lights to city soccer fields, a matter that has often been discussed, but rarely moved forward.

The lack of lights at the soccer field has forced Madisonville High School’s soccer teams to practice in the outfield of the lighted baseball field during the weeks before Daylight Savings Time kicks in and pushing sunset an hour later.

“I’ve been on the council for a long time and this is something that’s discussed just about every year,” Parten said. “Every time, it comes down to ‘we don’t have the money.’

“We need to do something for the kids.”

The lights would cost about $500,000, according to Viator. The city will seek grant money from the state – and $5,000 from energy provider Entergy – to install the lights. The grant application process can be lengthy, so council members urged the city manager to form a plan and get costs to possibly include the lighting of one of the fields in the next budget.

Lighting even one soccer field could help move the process of lighting the others, as the project would extend the power grid to the area.

“Once you run power for one set of lights, then the power has been run,” Viator said.

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