The bonds will be repaid using 4B sales tax money.
BEIC board member Orlando Vasquez made the motion to approve the resolution authorizing the sale and that was seconded by Dave Moore.
City Councilman David Carabajal made the same motion for the City Council and that motion was seconded by Councilman John Fulghum.
Financial adviser Victor Quiroga of Southwest Securities told the BEIC and council members that he was “very happy with the rate” they would be getting on a $3.5 million bond issue.
Quiroga said the BEIC bond sale attracted only two bids for the bonds. Prosperity Bank offered to buy the bonds at an interest rate of 3.79 percent but the low bidder was Branch Bank and Trust of North Carolina with a rate of 3.26 percent.
The financial adviser said his company had estimated total interest payments to come to $1.4 million at the 4.75 percent interest rate they had projected. With the rate at 3.26 percent, interest costs would come to only $959,000 over the 15 years of debt service. That would be a savings of a half million dollars.
Quiroga said Southwest Securities anticipates that Beeville will receive about $665,000 in 4B sales tax collections in the future and debt service costs will be $297,000 a year.
That will leave the corporation about $368,000 a year to spend on other projects.
“It’ll be kind of tight for the next five years,” Quiroga said. However, after that the BEIC will have paid off its only other outstanding bond debt and that will free up more money for economic development projects.
Those bonds, totaling $885,000, will be paid off on Sept. 30, 2014. When those bonds are retired, the BEIC will have approximately $123,000 more a year to spend on economic development efforts.
Some concerns were expressed during a public hearing on the bond issue held before the vote was taken.
Attorney Tom Beasley, who owns business property just north of Flournoy Park, questioned building public restrooms, a water pad and skate park at that location.
He said others who own property around the park also are concerned about the plans for development there. Beasley also reminded BEIC board members that his wife, a doctor, had expressed safety concerns that could result from building a skate park and water pad at that location.
Flournoy Park is located between two of the city’s busiest thoroughfares and at one of Beeville’s busiest intersections.
Beasley said the area “is easily the most visible park in our community.”
He said he supports plans to build a walking trail there and a butterfly garden but it would not be a good location for the attractions that could bring young people there.
Clyde Lacy, who lives across North St. Mary’s Street from the park, said, “Please establish priorities and get them straight.”
City Councilwoman Libby Spires said she is concerned about maintaining the parks once they have been improved.
“It’s a lot of money to put into parks without a good plan to maintain them,” Spires said. She pointed out that the city does not have a good record of maintaining the park facilities it already has.
Parks plan coordinator John Longoria spoke briefly, explaining that maintenance is a concern that planners have had all along.
He said that there is no agreement with the Beeville Independent School District yet over building some Pop Warner football fields on property at Moreno Middle School.
However, Longoria said it would be difficult for the district to turn down the proposition because it would provide more than a million dollars in new facilities to benefit the BISD.
As far as concerns about Flournoy Park, Longoria said that facility would be the last on the list for improvements because there are no seasonal time constraints for completing that park.
“We’re going to work with the public and the property owners,” Longoria said of the Flournoy project.
The coordinator stressed the fact that timetables are important when it comes to work on Little League, softball and football fields. Those projects must be completed in time for their seasons to begin.
Longoria assured the BEIC board and council that he and other planners have been working with City Manager Tom Ginter about a maintenance schedule for the improved park facilities.
He said it may be possible to privatize the maintenance of the facilities at the parks by an agreement with the leagues.
If the football complex is built at Moreno, the BISD would be responsible for maintenance on those fields.
Gary Kent is a reporter at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 120, or at reporter@mySouTex.com.