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Cookeville Approves Debt Resolution, New Fiscal Year Budget

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Cookeville Approves Debt Resolution, New Fiscal Year Budget

Cookeville City Council approved a resolution Thursday night allowing the city to incur debt and pay it back with proceeds from bonds.

Finance Director Brenda Imel said the decision would allow the city to move quickly if needed to spend money on the proposed aquatic facility or for some of the city’s major road projects.

“The first step if this council or the new council wish to move forward with that would be to identify a location and acquire property and engage someone to design it,” Imel said. “So if council had the opportunity to move forward with that, property would become available. This resolution would allow us to use our fund balance and then pay ourselves back from a future debt issue.”

Imel said the resolution is a common part of working on large projects, allowing the city to use general funds to purchase land, begin construction, or contract for architectural, design or engineering work.

“We need to be able to meet early obligations of the project before the debt proceeds are available to us,” Imel said.

The resolution specifically mentions but is not limited to the aquatics facility and road improvements planned for Tenth Street and Stevens Street.

“Any purchase of property or engaging a design firm have to come back to council for their approval,” Imel said.

Also Thursday night, Council unanimously approved its $220 million fiscal year budget on second reading. City Manager James Mills said the budget includes one of the largest salary increases in the city’s history.

Imel said the budget includes two changes from first reading, both requested by council members. The first is the inclusion of $15 million in bond revenue to begin the process for a new aquatics facility.

The city will also dedicate some $450,000 to a second phase of streetscape improvements to Cedar Avenue. Some $250,000 comes from the transportation fund while the rest will be funded by the economic development fund. That portion will be used to increase parking along Cedar Avenue.

Council approved on second reading the rezoning of property on First Street to CBD zoning. An ordinance to rezone land along West Broad Street to commercial also passed on second reading. Three lots that served as storage for Bob’s Body Shop have been combined to market for commercial development.

The council also approved Kay Starkweather for a new five-year term on the Environmental Appeals Board.


The post Cookeville Approves Debt Resolution, New Fiscal Year Budget appeared first on News Talk 94.1/AM 1600.