The Birmingham, Ala., City Council Tuesday refused to take actions necessary to hold a special election on Oct. 9 to ask voters to approve $150 million of general obligation bonds.
It was the second week in a row that commissioners rejected Mayor William Bell’s request to set the referendum. No board member spoke about the agenda item, though several had previously questioned the list of projects to be financed with bond proceeds.
It is not clear if the agenda item will be considered again. The referendum would have to be approved by federal officials and meet certain deadlines for scheduling the special election.
If the proposal is ultimately accepted by the council, voters would face up to $150 million of GOs in six separate questions for landfill, parks and recreation, streets and sidewalks, economic development, public safety and sewer projects.
The bonds would be secured by the available capacity from a dedicated city tax that can be levied up to 12 mills. Under Bell’s plan, the city would sell about half of the bonds next year. At that time, $255 million of outstanding debt would be secured by the tax.
Birmingham GOs are rated AA by Fitch Ratings and Standard & Poor’s, and Aa2 by Moody’s Investors Service.