Saturday, October 5, 2019

Priester Speaks!

Jackson Ward 2 City Councilman Melvin Priester, Jr. provided more information on Jackson's water/sewer billing fiasco:

There's been some confusion about the two transactions approved by the council yesterday and so I'm going to take a stab at trying to clear some of it up.

With regards to borrowing $41million to do infrastructure work. We're borrowing against the income we receive from the 1% sales tax revenue to front load work now. We get approx. 14million/year in income from the 1%. The loan will be paid off from the stream of money from the 1% sales tax. Hypothetically, we could borrow three to four times more but that would mean that down the road, every dollar that came in on the 1% would have to be spent on paying off what was borrowed now, therefore tying hands of future officials. Instead, we're borrowing a lump sum now to kickstart some work and spread it around the City. Then, going forward, some of the future 1% revenue will be used to pay back the loan we'll be taking out now and the rest will be available to do future projects identified at that time. This is a very low risk transaction because we've got a clear and committed revenue stream to repay it.

In terms of selecting the projects, the mayor and the council will be having meetings to collaboratively select projects.

Using the 1% funds to proceed in this manner is something that has been envisioned and included in the legislation allowing this sales tax in the first place. The fight has been over how much or how little to borrow. I'm glad we've come to a consensus.

With regards to borrowing $7 million to work on water/sewer billing issues. The hold up there (and the source of compromise) was over making sure there is transparency and oversight in spending the money. What we will be doing is having a special, water-sewer ad-hoc committee meeting before any contract is let using these funds. One thing people seem to gloss over is that this transaction we're approving is more like taking out a line of credit. We're not borrowing $7 million today, we're opening a line of credit that we can draw on as necessary. If there is no need to take out all $7 million, great, we take out less and pay less back. If revenue is better in water-sewer, that will decrease the need to borrow. Interest only accrues on what is actually drawn out (just like a home equity line of credit). All that was done yesterday is setting the process in motion. I'm not particularly pleased with having to be in this position, but I definitely know that specific tasks need to be done, these tasks require money, and the water-sewer department is not generating enough money to pay for the repairs needed to resuscitate itself.



10 comments:

Anonymous said...

If it’s a line of credit and there is no need then don’t borrow it

Anonymous said...

If larger than expected sums roll in and smaller than expected sums roll out, and if there are no surpises then instead of drawing down that home equity line of credit Jackson could be in the position of actually putting money into the bank instead of taking it out!


Instead of paying interest Jackson could be earning interest!

Strange and unexpected things have happened in the past.

As the great Bill O Reilly once said:

"I'll tell you why it's not a scam. In my opinion, all right? Tide goes in, tide goes out. Never a miscommunication. You can't explain that."

Anonymous said...

Realizing I have $73 available credik on my VISA, Ima head straight to the drive thru at Wendy's for burgers and then swing through Popeyes too.

Anonymous said...

Someone could make some money here: 1. Loan the city money for the water system. 2. Take said water system and the legal ability to operate it separate from the city as security for the loan. 3. They WILL default. 4. Obtain judgment and take water system from the city and start operating it. 5. Bill people for their water and make them start paying. 6. Make profit and deliver water to citizens.

Anonymous said...

Priester used to be refreshingly honest but over the last year plus he's turned into an outright apologist. A very smart and well spoken apologist but an apologist nonetheless. He now spends most of his time trying to convince us that the brown stuff on our shoes is mud, not shit.

Anonymous said...

All of the above comments from 11:45 pm to 10:17 am prove why reading comprehension is a problem in Mississippi.

The "examples" above, in particular, are just ridiculous...they are called " false equivalencies".

Anonymous said...

it's called "BUILDING A CASTLE ON SHIFTING SAND"

Anonymous said...

Seems to me that $7 million should be be added to the damages sought in the Siemens, et.al., lawsuit. I would also think the contractors who work to straighten out this boondoggle could offer expert testimony, much like a treating physician is often the best expert witness to a plaintiff's injuries (if they're willing to actually offer an opinion on causation). If I were on the city's legal team, I'd definitely want to talk to anyone who works Jackson's water/sewer billing system.

Anonymous said...

If the City needs money, perhaps you should consider sending out water bills. I haven't seen a bill in five months.

Anonymous said...

7:39 A.M., I applaud your planning ability. Passing by Wendy's, first, will provide you with something to eat-on, while waiting to access Popeye's drive-thru facilities, as the latter activity could require several hours to complete.

A couple of weeks back, on one of those 100-degree days, Heading South on I-55, through 'The FFNEJ' (Formerly Fashionable Northeast Jackson), on my way to the gym formerly known as 'The Courthouse', we happened to look down onto West Frontage Road. There was a long line of cars - blocks long - maybe a quarter-mile long... The kind of line you just don't see in Jackson, anymore. "Must be some big event", my companion mused. And it WAS! The line led to the drive-thru window at Popeye's. I assume Popeye's had issued some hella coupons, for something delicious. And nothing exemplifies Mississippi values more, than sitting in an idling car for two solid hours, with the AC on blast, in order to receive a half-price bucket of Cajun Rice. Economic principles like that, are why Mississippi will always be Number One.

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If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

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