Transpark Asks to Re-Finance Mortgage

By: Ryan Dearbone Email
By: Ryan Dearbone Email

Tri-Modal Transpark Authority officials will be asking the Bowling Green City Commission to help them by re-financing the mortgage bonds on the Kentucky Tri-Modal Industrial Transpark.

Right now, if the Transpark sells an acre of property at its proposed price of $35,000, it will still owe the mortgage bond trustees an additional $24,000, which is what the acre of land is actually worth.

"I don't think that anyone ever anticipated that the value the bond trustees would place on the sites in the Transpark would be $59,000- $60,000 an acre," says ITA president Jim Hizer.

That's the situation Transpark officials find themselves grappling with.

Trustees over the mortgage bonds say that rather than receiving the additional money in payments, they want the money upfront on any purchase of the Transpark land.

So the ITA is asking the Commission to grant them a General Obligation bond that would cover the excess money the ITA doesn't currently have.

City Commissioner Brian Strow believes that it's imperative that something is done to fix this situation.

"Everyday that land goes unsold, the Transpark the taxpayers now have to pay interest on that land. The longer we go without tenants in the Transpark the bigger the cost to the taxpayer's going to be," says Strow.

He says if every acre of the Transpark was sold tomorrow the City would still have to pay 10 million dollars to subsidize the Transpark.

However, Hizer says that re-structuring the bonds will actually work to protect taxpayers, the city, and the county.

"When we're in a scenario where we sell land and we need an infusion of money we have to approach the County and the City asking them for cash that they may or may not have at that time," notes Hizer.

Hizer says despite a lot of blame being placed on past City and ITA officials he believes that all former parties involved made the best decision they could have 4 years ago.

ITA officials will formally present their suggestion to the City Commission next Monday during a special work session.

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