Commission talks surplus property

Commission talks surplus property
The sale of surplus property in Sharon is almost complete – but not quite.
“It’s a tedious process. It’s not over and it won’t be over tonight,” Weakley County Commission Chairman Jimmy Westbrook said at the November monthly meeting of the Weakley County Commission Monday night.
The property in question, the W.S.W. Co. building and the Rebel Screeners building, received high bids of $30,100 from Will Bolton and $15,001 from Royce Bates respectively, but, according to county attorney Jeff Washburn, the matter is far from over.
“We accepted the bids. We’ve been advertising and we made sure we took all cautions and precautions. The property will be purchased as is so there will be no excuses for coming back,” he explained.
Once the bids have been accepted, however, the property bids will go out again as the figurers still remain way below taxes owed. Bids can be raised by 10 percent for a 10-day time period and there could be additional time, according to Washburn, to raise the bids another 10 percent. If there is no additional interest, though, these bidders will own the property.
According to property assessor David Tuck, about $280,000 in taxes is owed on the W.S.W. building and between $70,000 and $80,000 is owed on Rebel Screeners.
The commission voted unanimously to accept the bids with the provision that they can be raised.
In a report from Ronnie Price, CEO of the Weakley County Economic Development Board, Gordon Food Services sold to a group out of Mississippi who plan to run a logistics operation in the building depending on the number of customers they bring in. This would create about 50 jobs. They will not be using the administration building or the truck maintenance building, however, so they will be looking for people interested in leasing them.
“A major move in the Haslam administration is realignment of the region. It used to be West Tennessee, East Tennessee and Middle Tennessee. They broke it down into nine regions and 11 districts,” Price reported.
“Our region is Carroll, Henry, Benton, Weakley, Dyer, Crockett, Lake, Obion and Gibson and we’re developing some regional strategies.”
In new business, several municipalities have recently adopted debt management policies and now the Weakley County Commission has approved one of its own.
The debt policy will seek to utilize debt financing, which will provide needed capital equipment and infrastructure improvements while minimizing the impact of debt payments on current or future revenues.
Debt financing will include general obligation bonds, revenue bonds, certificates of obligation, certificates of participation, commercial paper, lease/purchase agreements and other obligations permitted to be issued or incurred under state law.
These will be only used to purchase capital assets that cannot be acquired from either current revenues or fund balance/retained earnings and to fund infrastructure improvements and additions. The useful life of the asset or project will not exceed the payout schedule of any debt the county assumes.
Affordability targets will include general obligation bonds and revenue bonds. The county will normally issue bonds with an average life of 10.5 years or less for general obligation bonds and 12 years for revenue bonds.
Call provisions for bond issues will be made as short as possible consistent with the lowest interest cost to the county.
A competitive bidding process will take place in the sale of debt unless the nature of the issue warrants a negotiated sale.
Full disclosure of operations and open lines of communication will be made to the rating agencies. County staff, with assistance of financial advisors, will prepare the necessary materials and presentation to the rating agencies and credit rating will be sought from Moody’s, Standard & Poor’s and Fitch as recommended by the county’s financial advisor.
The county is committed to continuing its disclosure of financial and pertinent credit information relevant to the county’s outstanding securities and will abide by the provisions of Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Rule 15c-12 concerning primary and secondary market disclosure.
County staff and the financial advisor will monitor the municipal bond market for opportunities to obtain interest savings by refunding outstanding debt. As a general rule, the present value savings of a particular refunding should exceed 3.5 percent of the refunded maturities.
Interest earnings received on the investment of bond proceeds will be used in paying the interest due on bond issues to the extend permitted by law.
Over the lifetime of a lease, the total cost to the county will generally be higher than purchasing the asset outright.
As a result, the use of lease/purchase agreements and certificates of participation in the acquisition of vehicles, equipment and other capital assets will generally be avoided particularly if smaller quantities of capital asset(s) can be purchased on a “pay-as-you-go” basis.
In other new business, Resolutions No. 2012-17 and 2012-18 passed unanimously.
These resolutions were first addressed and approved at the Weakley County School Board meeting earlier this month.
Resolution No. 2012-17 is an amendment to the budget of $16,694 to be used for the peer tutor program at Dresden High School.
This program makes it possible for qualified student tutors to be paid for their after-school work with their peers.
Resolution No. 2012-18 budgets federal money in accordance with federal law and No Child Left Behind.
Finally, Resolution No. 2012-19 passed unanimously to authorize budget amendments to the general fund so that revenue codes match expenditures and are updated.
In appointments, Larry Taylor for a two-year term, Charles Covington for a one-year term and Kay Stegall for a three-year term, were appointed to the newly created Weakley County audit committee.
Weakley County Industrial Board members will include Junior Moore, Dr. Donnie Davis, John Harris, Dee Pritchett, Jerry Brigance, Cindy McAdams and Monte Bowers. Special recognition was extended to the Youth Leadership Weakley County group.
In comments from the commissioners, Commissioner Scott Fortner requested the commissioners look into a way for Martin Middle School students to be able to bypass the dress code regarding coats in order to stay warm while the HVAC project continues.
Fortner reported that on cooler days, temperatures in some of the classrooms dipped to 40-50 degrees and this was becoming a health concern.
The next meeting of the Weakley County Commission will take place at 5:30 p.m. on Jan. 17, 2012.     

WCP 11.24.11

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