The wheels of government are turning a bit faster for the Blue Building. Its future renovation will be discussed Tuesday night by city officials in two committees and by the full board.
Meeting at 6 p.m. will be the Building and Grounds Committee with Aldermen Ben Newman, chairman, Ken Smith and Jimmy Bonner. On the agenda to be discussed is the RFP (request for proposal) for the Blue Building restoration project. An RFP outlines what work the city wants done and is used by companies in generating costs and submitting their bid packages.
Meeting at 6:30 p.m. will be the Finance Committee to discuss borrowing funds for the Blue Building’s renovation. On the committee are Smith, chairman, Newman and Alderman Mike Neal. Under consideration will be using capital outlay notes or bonds for financing the restoration project, which is not to exceed $2.8 million. The original proposal called for 12-year capital outlay notes. With interest estimated to be $747,406, the entire cost would be $3.54 million.
Smith says he prefers the use of notes in hopes of borrowing from a local bank so the interest paid will stay local.
“I prefer to use capital outlay notes,” said Smith. “It helps keeps the money here. We are borrowing from institutions. I would rather borrow from a bank inside the city of McMinnville, if at all possible.”
Bonds come from the Tennessee Municipal Bond Fund, which works closely with officials from cities and counties to structure cost-effective and flexible borrowing options. Smith says those banks are outside Warren County and the interest paid will go there.
“They use a group of banks out of the Clarksville area,” said Smith. “I would rather borrow from a local bank. I prefer capital outlay notes whenever we can use them, unless the amount of interest rates that you will be paying is ridiculous. Bonds are necessary on big projects in excess of $5 million or more.”
The committee meetings came after the full board voted on first read Aug. 26 for an ordinance that called for the renovation the Blue Building to develop it into McMinnville Police Department. Rejected were ideas to construct a new police station on the property behind the Blue Building, and demolish the building and construct a new police station at the existing location.
At 7 p.m., the measure will be presented to the full board for its second and final read. It passed 5-2 on Aug. 26. Voting in favor of it were Mayor Jimmy Haley, Vice Mayor Ben Newman, and Aldermen Rick Barnes, Mike Neal and Ken Smith. Voting against it were Aldermen Jimmy Bonner and Billy Wood. An ordinance requires two passing reads.