By Emily Le Coz/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – The city will issue $12 million in bonds to pay for the aquatic center and a host of other capital projects in the coming fiscal year.
Tupelo City Council members voted Tuesday on a resolution to start the bond process, as well as hire an outside professional to help issue the bonds. It could take several weeks before the city actually gets the money.
Both measures passed 5-2, with Ward 3 Councilman Jim Newell and Ward 6 Councilman Mike Bryan voting against it.
A majority of the funds – $9.5 million – will go toward construction of the new indoor aquatic facility at Veterans Park, which is set to start later this month.
About $1 million will pay for neighborhood and infrastructure improvements, including sidewalks, utility upgrades, property acquisition and demolition. The rest will fund park improvements, police and fire vehicles, heavy equipment for the Public Works Department and some renovations at the newly purchased Police Athletic League building.
It’s all part of a five-year capital projects plan approved earlier this month by the council. The plan, which was first proposed last year by Chief Financial Officer Lynn Norris, separates large-scale expenditures from the general fund budget. And it envisions paying for them mostly through bonds issued over the next several years.
This is the second bond series within a year. The council had approved a $3.9 million bond in October 2011. Newell and Bryan also had rejected that bond.