Kingsport to issue up to $17.7 million in bonds

Matthew Lane • Sep 2, 2018 at 9:00 AM

KINGSPORT — The Model City plans to go to the bond market later this month to seek as much as $17.7 million — money that would be used to fund projects such as the renovation of the Justice Center, an expansion of the Kingsport Aquatic Center and improvements to Bays Mountain Park.

However, the total could end up being a few million dollars less depending on what the Board of Mayor and Aldermen wants to do with the power lines along a section of Main Street. Up to $3 million was included in the bond measure to cover the cost of this project.

At its last meeting in August, the BMA approved three resolutions authorizing the issuance of bonds. These were for:

— General fund projects: $10.1 million

— Water and sewer projects: $5.3 million

— Kingsport Aquatic Center: $2.3 million

According to City Manager Jeff Fleming, Kingsport will go to the bond market on Sept. 17 and receive the money 11 days later. Bonds such as these are issued every fall by the city, and they fund a variety of projects approved by the BMA during the annual budget process.

The amount of debt rolling off the books this year is just over $17.3 million. New debt being added with this bond issuance totals $14.75 million, plus up to $3 million more to cover the cost of the Main Street power line project.

“If the BMA decides to add 100 percent of the Main Street power line relocation project in the coming months, then total debt would increase to $17,755,000. If the BMA chooses something less, then it would be reduced,” Fleming said in an email to the Times News.

Here’s a list of some of the major projects to funded by the bond issuance.

— $3.7 million: Justice Center renovations and new City Hall

— $3 million: Main Street power line relocation

— $2.3 million: New outdoor pool at the Kingsport Aquatic Center

— $2 million: Chemical feed at the water treatment plant

— $1.4 million: Water line upgrades

— $1 million: School facilities maintenance

— $300,000: Bays Mountain Nature Center improvements

— $270,000: New Bays Mountain animal habitats

— $265,000: Planetarium improvements

— $225,000: Library improvements

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