The Courier News from Blytheville, Arkansas on September 26, 1951 · Page 5
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The Courier News from Blytheville, Arkansas · Page 5

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Blytheville, Arkansas
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Wednesday, September 26, 1951
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Page 5
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WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 26, 1981 Citizens Speak Minds On Street Bond Plan (Continued from Page 1) cost when Uu citizen puts up his y f ar maturity at an interest rat* of ntvn mnnev " h« cnntlmioH .._*. .. J '"'.'*" "t^t^oi. lave 01 own money," he continued. Alderman Sanders asked how much of the »150,000 Is now earmarked for specific projects and how much of the money provided by the bond Issue would be left as B. "cushion" for the street work in £ke future. Questions Had Answers "That hasn't been worked out," Mr. White said, "but I believe about one-third. ($50,000 to then moved to one-half *75,000> The discussion a rapid-fire question and answer session involving almost everyone In the room. SANDERS: Based on present parking meter revenue, how long would it take us to pay back the $150,000 plus interest? WHITE: We haven't broken it down that way. SANDERS: Mr. Malin? (city Clerk W. I. Malin) MAUN: About 10 years as parking meter revenues now run about 530,000 annually, the interest. Ten years plus Mayor Doyle Henderson entered the proceedings with, "Gentlemen, I think it should be-made plain that this bond if-sue will not be lien on anyone's property." WRIGHT: State law insures that. SANDERS: 11 we float the bond issue, what, happens it the meters are taken out? WRIGHT: We would have to guarantee the bonding company that we would keep the parking meters in until the debt Is retired SANDERS: What if parking met- revenues fall off until we»can't eet the payments? WRIGHT: The city assumes no part of the indebtedness. SANDERS: What if the people Jater vote to remove the parking meters? WRIGHT: If the people pledge . the net revenue of parking meters lor retirement of the bond Issue, the people can't take them out until the dent U paid. SANDERS: Is »30,000 the net revenue? MALIN: No, it's the gross income, but no maintenance has ever been charged against them. Interest Rate Set Asked just how much each payment would be in retiring of the bonds, Mr. Wright explained that the iisue would be based on a 30- not more than five per cent under state law. Alderman Whit* again explained that Paragoutd, whose parking meters produce about one-half the revenue of those of Blytheville is blacktoppmg all its streets on a revenue bond issue of »169.000 and by obligation of one-half its meter revenues for that purpose. "Revenue bonds provide the cheapest money that can be borrowed," Mr. White continued, "and since we have gone into street-widening projects ... (a reference to the Walnut Street project) I believe we should go forward. As for the schools, I'm for co-operating with them 100 per cent and giving them all they need." Comment Asked A rambling discussion then hinted that the »150.000 was needed for projects other than the high school program, but never were crystallized into concise statements. Items mentioned included a fund for "general street use" as the present fund has been depleted, immediate repayment of the tax turn- back loan and paving of streets "over town," a generality without definition. Mr. Sanders and Mr. White then asked for public comment. School Board President Max B. Reid said, "I've talked to only a few board members, but' it now seems that we will get Into the new high school shortly after the Christmas holidays. "Then, the public and school buses will have to get in there and approaches already inadequate will get worse in bad weather. "This is just one project, I know, but the school district can't spend its funds and we will have to ask the city to raise funds for the streets. Wants Estimate of Plans "I believe the public will be proud of the school and will believe it is a school that deserves good streets." NASH: But we'll need an estimate of school plans. We need to know whether the street will come in from Highway 61 or Hearn Street or where before we get Into the bond issue. Also, we don't know how many blocks of pavement wll! be needed. REID: About two blocks from Highway 61 and two from Hearn. A minimum of four block* »nd probably five or six. Mayor Henderson again reminded the group that the Councils only action would be to place the proposition on the ballot and did not necessarily mean the bond Issue would be approved. Another \citiien, Lynn Hughes, contractor, spoke up. Siya Council Too Late ''Before the street widening project ... (presumably Walnut Street) . . . began, I reminded the Council that this school problem was coming up and was more important than the others. 'I think the Council has waited until its too late to do something about the school. I'm personally against a bonded Indebtedness of this sort. I'd rather see parking meter funds used as they come in. "The Council is late. It should have realized this problem would arise before spending $35.000 or $40,000 on streets as it did. I'm against a bond Issue to improve streets." SANDERS: You're inconsistent, aren't you Lynn? Don't you agree we have to do something about this now? HUGHES: Yes. but I'm against bonded indebtedness. SANDERS: Do you know another source of revenue? HUGHES: No, I don't. I would make plans for next spring after winter weather clears and build up the fund from parking meter revenues until that time. Besides, you don't have any idea what it going to cost now. "Can't Help ThU Year" WHITE: It doesn't matter to me what it costs If the school needs it and the people approve It. NASH: Jesse, everybody wants to help the schools, but we couldn't help this year, it would be winter before work could begin and would just get the school all torn up. Louis Isaacs, businessman, said. "I think we should turn the bond issue down, build up a fund and next spring go ahead with the school work." The meeting again ambled into a general discussion with several persons talking at once. 'The talk seemed to be centered about cost of the school project with no one being able to make an estimate. A general concurrence was that ilOO.OOO "would cover it" with several thousand dollars left over • One alderman expressed the opinion that maybe *150.000 wasn't enough—the issue should be bigger. After more discussion without conclusions, Mr. Wright asked "Are you going to wait 15 or 20 years for streets in Blytheville?" N«d» Money Now "Speaking as a citizen and a taxpayer, I'm as Interested in this as anyone here, but if the average Blytheville ^citizen waited until he had, enougli money to pay cash (or his home or automobile, there would be few owners of either one. "The city is in the same position. It needs action and It needs money now to do it with." Russell Hays, Chamber of Commerce president, was asked for his oplniori. "There are good arguments on both sides," he said. "The January move is in the worst season of the year and pay-as-you-go is fine and dandy, but we don't have the money and if the bond issue is the most logical method of acquiring It. it's not a case of what is best, but what we might have to do." ' Mr. Reid suggested that the people be given a chance to express their opinion at the November ballot. "Let them be the ones to decide It," he said. Alderman White chimed in with "I don't want anything to do with it unless the people do." Mr. Wright said "The people certainly must pass on it according to state law." Could Cancel Proposal A question from School Superintendent W. B. Nicholson brought out that the Council could later remove the proposal from the ballot if subsequent information proved they didn't want to refer It to a vote. "The reason I asked." Mr. Nicholson said, "Is that many questions have arisen tonight which can't be answered in time to get the proposal on the, ballot if the Council doesn't act tonight." (The. ordinance must be advertised for 30 days and the election is Nov. 6.) Mr. Malin then asked if the Issue did reach the ballot and was approved, would the Council have to go through with the sale of the bonds? "No." Mr. Wright answered, "we don't have to borrow the money if we don't need it." Mr. Hughes again entered the discussion with "I want to remind the Council that they can get many street improvements by letting property-owners put up $4 for every $1 the city spends. Problem "Faced Before" "The city should keep a certain amount on reserve to participate in that project." "Exactly what I'm for now, have been from the beginning and will continue to be for," Mr. White said. BLYTHEVTLLE (ARK.) COURIER NEWS 'Yes, but that problem has been faced before, and the city ihould keep some money back tor that purpose," Mr. Hughes retorted. The Rev. Harold Thompson then rose to throw his unmitigated support behind the bond proposal. "My general observation," he stated, "has been that people are very much pleased with the street work that nas been done and I believe the public \vou!d appreciate the opportunity to cast a vote on the bond issue for greater improvement of the city of Blylnevllle. "I believe the people should be given the chance to vote and that they wilt-say go ahead and improve the city. Us streets and schools I believe the vote will be in favor of it. I'm wholeheartedly for it." Council Drops Plan City Clerk Malm then gave the proposed ordinance its first and complete reading. Alderman Jlmmle Sanders noted that no provision was made for obligating only 50 per cent of the parking meter revenues. The city attorney stated that this would have to be done by scaling the maturity dates so that only 51) per cent would be obligated. "We'll have to obligate all of the revenue in the ordinance, but actually only one-half will go for retirement of the bonds." The Council voted not to adopt the ordinance. Lynn Hughes had a parting shot Tor the group. "I'd like to bring up again that there is a more vital issue for the well-being of the school and that i what Is going to be done about the septic tank in front of the new high school?" he asked. Issue "Foitponrd" 'On rainy days with a southerly wind, and when the humidity is high, that ^i\vcr generates up a lot of gas and stinks. I'll make you sick." Mr. Reid said "I've heard the mayor call for disposition of the sewer question time and again and eard it postponed and postponed." Alderman Charles Lipford. asked MOX Phone 4621 Shnw Starts Weekdays 7:00 Sat.-Sun. 1:00 Always a Double Feature PAGE TTVB _ Alderman Sanders to explain ils opposition to the revenue bonds, aid "I'm against it because the people In my end of town want the und specifically earmarked prot- ;c' -by-project. 'The Fourth Ward has been shortchanged since the beginning of .ime on streets and people have lold me they don't want this thing )n the ballot. 'They want it understood, item- by-ltem, what the money will go for -md who will be in charge of it." Playgrounds for the Kiddies Free Kiddie Car Rides Kids Under 12 FREE with Parents Show Starts 7:00 p.m. No. Mosquitoes—No Bugs Our Anniversary Will He Soon You'll Be Invited! Last Times Tonite O.r» t>m Guest Tickel Nites KIDDIES FREE COTTON BOLL on North Hiway 61 Phone 3570 ••••••••••••••••••••to ENDS TONITE Frank Lovejoy in "I Was a Communist for the FBI" plus Cartoon & Sport Reel NEW Air Conditioned By Refrigeration "Your Community Center* MANILA, ARK. Matinees,Sat. & Sun, 1 Phone 58 Wednesday & Thursday 'Jesse James' Tyrone Power Friday "5MOKEY" Fred McMurray »•'•••**•*••••••••••»• RITZ THEATRE Manila, Ark. 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