By Patrick Yost, EDITOR
The Madison City Council, on Friday, is expected to complete a bond initiative that would raise more than $1 million to complete payment for the development of the city’s Town Park project.
The bond initiative, which will be administered through the Madison Downtown Development Authority (DDA), will complete the payment for development of Town Park in the next five years, Madison City Manager David Nunn told the council Monday night.
The project, a more-than-$4.5 million development through the DDA, has been funded in large part through private donations, in-kind construction work by the City of Madison and Morgan County and through collection of Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) funds.
Nunn said the remaining $1.1 million owed on the project will be paid primarily through the use of SPLOST money. Nunn said Monday that the bond initiative would be offered only to a single bank and would not be available for public purchase.
The city is currently working with the Atlanta-based Robert W. Baird and Co. to solicit bids for the bond sale. By funding the remainder of the project through the issue of a bond, the city “takes the (interest) rate risk out for five years,” Nunn told the council.
The five-year payoff is “pretty aggressive,” he said. At the request of Council Member Joe DiLetto, the council voted to delay a vote on the bond issue until Friday’s scheduled work session with the council.
DiLetto told the group he wanted to take time to carefully read the documents presented regarding the issue.
Nunn said once the bond is completely paid, the DDA would transfer ownership of the park to the city of Madison. In other city business, the council:
• Approved, contingent on the successful completion of finger print back ground checks on a partial owner, a beer and wine package license for the Raceway convenience store on Eatonton Highway.
• Heard a request by Cotton South Arts Festival organizer Tim Reilly for the refund of $400 the city took from a damage deposit. Reilly told the council that the city had taken $400 from a $1,000 damage deposit in relation with an opening party the festival held the night before the two-day event. Nunn told the council that the city considered the amount “fair.” The Friday night event morphed into something entirely different.” Nunn said the city had rented the park to Reilly for $1,100 per day, less than normal rates. He also said that typically the city requires a $400 per hour rate for use of the park with a four-hour minimum. The council agreed to address the issue at its Friday work session.