Recreation, Fire, Police Station Money

For Municipal Elections on March 2, 2021, these are the Clinton City Council candidates: Seat 1: Henry Anderson, Danny Cook (incumbent), Ricky D. Martin Jr.; Seat 3: Robbie Neal (incumbent); Seat 5: Mitch Meadors, Ronnie Roth (incumbent). Laurens, Laurens CPW, Cross Hill, Gray Court and Waterloo also will have elections.

City Council looks at how to pay for construction projects; Clinton will get 810 acres of Whitten Center.

 

 

The City of Clinton looked at how it can afford fire, police and recreation construction at a workshop on Thursday.

Council looked at a $14 million series of bonds - installment purchase revenue bonds with 30-year financing. This involves the creation of a non-profit corporation as the borrowing entity that leases the facilities back to the City as bond payments are made. 

The cost of the construction would be $10.5 million – $6.5 million on general fund improvements for fire and police, and $4 million for the recreation complex. The City also puts up $3.5 million of project equity (cash reserves) to fund the residual portion of the Recreation Complex.

That's $10.5 million financing on $14 million in projects.

A substation would cost $678,264. The police station would be $1,095,965. The fire department would be $4,279,856 for phase 1 and $409,657 on phase 2. Courts could move to the municipal center.

Hospitality revenues would pay back the recreation complex debt payments. General fund revenue would pay back the general fund debt payments.

The City could make this work with existing revenue, but any more money borrowed would force Council to look at raising taxes. The installment purchase revenue bond also keeps Council from asking voters for money through a referendum.

No action was taken. 

Administration recommends that the City pursue funds by March. That would take movement by Council in January and February. Interest rates are a concern, because if they go up, money from project funding would go to financing.

In other business:

-- The State Fiscal Accountability Authority voted to convey 810 acres of Whitten Center property to the City of Clinton at no cost – 300 acres are north of I-26 on Hwy. 72 connecting to the City's industrial park, and 500 acres are on the south-side of I-26, including two large ponds and a pavilion building. Mayor Bob McLean thanked political leaders who made this happen, six years in the making. “This is a huge win for the City of Clinton,” he said.

-- City voted unanimously in favor of a resolution approving the acquisition of 75 acres of land adjacent and contiguous to the Recreation Complex. Funding would be from surplus property and timber sold in previous months.

-- After a two-hour executive session, no action was taken. Council discussed preliminary engineering estimates for City projects – fire, police and recreation; received legal advice on financing options for the construction project; and legal advice concerning FOIA requests by – Joseph Dyches.

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Clinton, SC 29325
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