Wednesday, January 24th, 2018

Financing moves forward for Mulkey, pool

A financing option to help fund the Mulkey Theatre multi-use event venue and Clarendon’s water recreation project continued to move forward during last Thursday’s meeting of the city council.

Aldermen unanimously approved a resolution to obtain professional services with the financing, and Drew Whitington of Government Capital Corporation addressed the council about borrowing $1 million for the aforementioned community projects through the Clarendon Economic Development Corporation. Half the money would be dedicated to the Mulkey project, and half would be for the pool project.

Whitington said his company’s primary goal is to keep the community and the CEDC safe by making sure that all proper procedures are followed during the financing process.

“We review all cash flows to keep the city and the EDC safe,” he said. “In this case, we want do as much as is fiscally responsible through the EDC [sales tax] and the remainder through the HOT [Hotel Occupancy Tax] fund.”

Looking at the revenues available, Government Capital is recommending that $650,000 be financed by the EDC sales tax funds and $350,000 be financed by HOT funds, Whittington said. The term would be for 20 years at about 3.95 percent fixed interest rate, and the loan could be paid back early after ten years.

According to Whitington, the 60-day clock on the financing began on July 6. The next steps will be for the CEDC to approve the financing followed by a ratification by the city council. The funds would be available by September.

Getting those funds at that time is critical for another item on last week’s city agenda – a resolution that was approved to authorize submission of a grant application to the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department.

City officials say the having the $500,000 financed money in hand by September, along with the more than $250,000 that has been donated and pledged to the pool project, allows Clarendon to meet the $500,000 challenge of an anonymous benefactor and lets the city apply for a TPWD matching grant of up to another $500,000.

Earlier last Thursday night, a public hearing was held on the TPWD grant application to seek money for the pool project. Ruth Aebischer spoke out with concerns about the project, and former mayor Larry Hicks spoke in favor of the plan.

In other city business, Aldermen heard from Paul Bivens in public comments with concerns about truck traffic on Third Street when Allsup’s builds its new store. Bivens said the street is currently in the best shape it’s ever been but said it will not withstand traffic of heavy trucks. He requested the city consider posting signs on Allen Street, Bugbee Avenue, and at the Sims Street intersection with Third to ban trucks from those thoroughfares. He also asked for steps to be considered to insure the safety of kids at the new store. Mayor Sandy Skelton thanked him for his comments and said that many of Bivens’ concerns have already been addressed with Allsup’s representatives.

Linda Lewis addressed the board concerning the house she owns at Sixth and Bugbee. Aldermen will consider a timeline to bring the property into compliance with local codes at the July 27 meeting.

The council approved a request by Saye’s to close the 200 block of Kearney Street for an open house event on August 5.

Aldermen also heard from sanitation directory Joe Shadle about developments with the City of Howardwick, which closed its limb pile and told its citizens to take that debris to Clarendon and which also recently canceled its sanitation agreement with Clarendon in favor of an Amarillo company.

“The limb pile is for the citizens of Clarendon,” Shadle said. “It’s a costly deal to operate. It’s not free to run.”

Alderman Nathan Floyd said he felt like Howardwick is part of Clarendon in a way in that those citizens buy their goods and services in Clarendon, and he recommended charging a fee for Howardwick residents to use the city’s limb pile. A fee will be considered at a future city meeting, but Clarendon residents would still be able to dump their limbs at no charge.

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