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Parks department plans $1.2M bond issue

By JOHN WALKER - jwalker@shelbynews.com

On Monday, the Shelbyville Common Council is expected to hear a proposal from the Shelbyville Parks & Recreation Department to issue bonds for upgrades at Blue River Memorial Park.

The parks board of directors has approved a resolution for the bond issue which is not to exceed $1.2 million.

Bonds are basically IOUs issued to borrow money for a project; investors who buy the bonds are repaid the purchase price plus interest over a certain time period.

At a special meeting of the parks board at the department offices, 945 S. Tompkins St., parks director Karen Martin described the work to be done.

One item is to construct a maintenance building to store equipment; another is to install larger sewage lines for the restrooms, she said.

“These are the two things, plus the parking area,” Martin told the parks board late Tuesday afternoon.

Parks board member and City Councilman Jeff Wright (D-5th Ward) asked if the people visiting the Shelby County Fairgrounds would be able to use the parking area. The Shelbyville park borders the fairgrounds.

Martin and Gary Bowen, chairman of the parks board, said yes.

Bruce Donaldson, a bond counsel with Barnes & Thornburg LLP, an Indianapolis law firm, said the bonds would probably have a life of 10 to 12 years. 

No tax increase would be needed to pay for the new bond issue, he said.

The parks department currently has outstanding bonds; those would be paid off, he said, and the tax rate levied to make the payments on that bond issue would just be transferred to pay off the new bonds.

Several steps must be taken to issue the new bonds.

The City Council is due to take up the proposal at its next meeting which starts at 6:30 p.m. on Monday in City Hall, 44 W. Washington St.

Also, a public hearing by the parks board is required to receive objections to the plan, if any. That meeting is scheduled to be held at the parks department at 4:15 p.m. on Nov. 14.

The proposal would then go back to the City Council for final approval at 8 a.m. on Nov. 26.

“We have to close on this, this year,” said Donaldson, the bond counsel, to get the tax rate for the new bond issue in 2019.