What will $20 million in bonds fund?

Matthew Lane • Oct 1, 2019 at 7:30 AM

KINGSPORT — Kingsport will soon go to the bond market — as it does about this time every year — to secure funds for a variety of capital projects, including the next phase of the Justice Center expansion, streetscape improvements along Main Street and upgrades to the nature center at Bays Mountain Park.

The Board of Mayor and Aldermen at its last meeting in September approved the measure, which authorizes the city to issue up to $20,250,000 in general obligation bonds. This money will fund three categories of projects:

- General fund — $9.6 million

- Water and sewer projects — $9.87 million

- MeadowView & Cattails — $600,000

Kingsport will go to the bond market in late October and receive the money in early November. 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.

With this issuance, Kingsport’s total general fund debt will stand at $118.5 million. Nearly $8.5 million in general fund debt is rolling off this year, but this issuance adds about $9.6 million. However, $2 million of that is being funded with AEP franchise funds.

The annual debt service on these new bonds will be paid with $460,000 in general city taxes and revenues, while $121,000 is coming from the AEP monies.

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

- $3.4 million: Chemical feed at the water treatment plant

- $3 million: Phase two of the Justice Center expansion

- $2 million: Relocation of the Main Street power lines

- $1 million: School facility improvements.

- $645,000: ADA improvements.

- $625,000: Fire department improvements and equipment

- $400,000: Bays Mountain Park improvements

- $350,000: New roof for MeadowView

- $250,000: Golf course improvements

- $100,000: Satellite salt facility