Transpark Bonds

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

WBKO's Ryan Dearbone has more on how the restructuring of the finances could affect your checkbook.

"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 to $60,000 dollars an acre," said Jim Hizer of Inter-Modal Transpark Authority.

That's the situation transpark officials find themselves grappling with. Trustees over the mortgage bonds said that rather than recieving 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 genral obligation bond that would cover the excess money the ITA doesn't currently have.

City Commisioner 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," Strow said.

Strow also said if every acre of the Transpark was sold tomorrow the city would still have to pay $10 million to subsidize the Transpark. However, Hizer said that restructuring 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," Hizer said.

Hizer said 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 four years ago.

ITA officials will formally present their suggestion to the city commission next Monday, March 5, 2007, during a special work session.


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