STARKVILLE — The Starkville Board of Aldermen will move forward tonight with its plan to build a new police station and renovate City Hall.
The board will consider adopting the city of Starkville municipal facilities master plan and moving forward with Phase 1 — the construction of a new police station — at its regularly scheduled meeting at City Hall.
The board is also scheduled to present a funding mechanism, subject to a city election, which will issue general obligation bonds of $8.45 million to raise money for the land and construction of the new police station at the corner of Jackson Street and Highway 182 and the two-story annex and renovation of City Hall on Lampkin Street.
Per the meeting agenda, the board will also consider approval of the development of renderings by architect Gary Shaffer for Phase 1 of the municipal facilities master plan for an amount not to exceed $3 million.
During a public meeting on July 12, financial consultant Demery Grubbs recommended the city issue $8.3 million in general obligation bonds instead of the $14.2 million estimated for the entire project because the additional money needed to renovate City Hall wouldn”t be spent until 2014 and 2015. Per state law, GO bonds must be spent within three years of borrowing. Grubbs also suggested Starkville use Certificate of Participation loans and Mississippi Development Bank loans as two forms of additional funding because neither will count against Starkville”s debt limit. However, changes in the city”s valuation will change the terms of those loans.
Tonight”s proposed $8.45 million bond issue would put the city”s principal and interest payment near $640,000 over 20 years. As a result, city taxes would raise 2.5 mills, or $35 a year for a house valued at $130,000.
“I have every reason to think the board is in a good position to act on a proposal Tuesday night,” Mayor Parker Wiseman said.
Construction for the new police station could begin as early as July 2012 and last about a year. The construction of the City Hall annex would begin July 2014 and be completed in early 2014. City Hall could be potentially renovated in 2015.
The ever-lean Starkville city budget doesn”t come with many surprises or tax hikes in the first of two scheduled public hearings on the fiscal year 2012 proposed budget.
Though the bond issue for the new police station could raise taxes by 2.5 mills, the tax increase won”t affect the 2012 budget, Wiseman said.
Budget committee chairwoman and Ward 2 Alderwoman Sandra Sistrunk said the revenues increased slightly from 2011, due in part to normal growth from new businesses opening up and more houses being built/sold.
The requested budget for FY ”12 is $16.26 million, about $220,000 more than the FY ”11 budget. There are several specific budget increases, but the 16 percent increase in health insurance adds roughly $175,000 of expense to the general fund.
Citizens will have the chance to voice concerns over the proposed budget at tonight”s meeting as well as the next regularly scheduled meeting on Aug. 16. The board could accept the proposed budget or an amended version then.
The board hopes to accept proposed revisions to the city”s solid-waste ordinance, which was tabled with a 5-2 vote at the last meeting.
Ward 5 Alderman Jeremiah Dumas said the ordinance didn”t clearly define “stumps, logs and tree trunks,” which is a key component of the revisions because of what city sanitation crews will haul away. According to the ordinance changes, city crews will now collect stumps, logs and tree trunks up eight inches in diameter and 10 feet in length.
However, one citizen questioned the vagueness of parts of the ordinance and the garbage collection window that states citizens can”t put garbage bags out before 5 a.m. and after 7 a.m. the day of pickup. Failure to comply could result in fines.
Additional revisions to the language in the ordinance, which has been in effect since 2010, is expected at tonight”s meeting, which begins at 5:30 p.m. at City Hall.