BRADENTON, Fla. — Nashville Mayor Karl Dean is proposing a $300 million, bond-financed capital plan for fiscal 2013.
Schools will receive the biggest chunk of the proceeds with $97 million to fund additions and renovations to existing school facilities that are outdated, in disrepair or overcrowded.
"This capital spending plan is not about constructing new buildings but rather about meeting the essential needs of our residents to continue to have a good quality of life," Dean said in a statement. "This plan takes care of the basics of the city, such as renovating and expanding our schools, repairing roads and building sidewalks, and improving our fire halls and police infrastructure."
The bonding accompanies a proposed $1.46 billion capital improvements budget, which is required to be adopted by the 40-member City Council annually.
"It is what we term the 'wish list' of projects," said Rich Riebeling, chief financial officer. "For a project to be funded it must be included in that budget. The list of projects far exceeds what we will finance or approve."
An initial bond resolution was filed Friday authorizing $297.6 million of general obligation bonds to support the fiscal 2013 capital spending plan. The council is expected to act on the plan by the end of June, he said.
Nashville, which has been consolidated with Davidson County since 1963, uses a $400 million commercial paper program to initially fund projects. The CP is later taken out with long-term financing.
Currently, $250 million has been drawn on the CP line. The city anticipates selling bonds in six to 12 months, according to Riebeling.
"Statutorily, we cannot fund any capital project unless we first approve them in the capital improvements budget," said City Council member Emily Evans. "Of the $1.4 billion, the vast majority just won't happen."
Meanwhile, Nashville's new convention center, the city's largest-ever construction project, is on schedule.
The $623 million, bond-financed Music City Center is expected to open in April 2013, and no additional financing will be needed, Riebeling said.
Shortly after the 1.2 million-square-foot convention center opens, Omni Hotels & Resorts will open an 800-room hotel next door.
The city is reimbursing the developer for roughly half the hotel cost from tourism taxes in annual payments from 2013 through 2032, according to Evans.
The hotel payments are subordinated so that convention center bondholders are paid first. If annual tourism taxes fall short, the city has a back-up pledge to make up the shortfall from its general fund, Evans said.
Nashville had $3 billion of GO debt, including principal and interest, outstanding through 2032, according to the city's 2011 audit. The GOs are rated Aa1 by Moody's Investors Service and AA by Standard & Poor's.