Monday, February 4, 2008

Proposed bond issue, Reunion, Gluckstadt, etc

This is a complex issue. I've tried to briefly mention some of the issues in a "white paper" or talking point format. Click here. Be sure to scroll and complete the poll questions in the right column. Appreciate your feedback!

Also, click here to see NORTHSIDE SUN article, FEB 14, 2008


dinsmor ent doc said...

Increased infrastructure as you move away from a city has been proven to only increase sprawl. Residents of Ridgeland should be wary of growth in Madison / Gluckstadt as it can only hamper appreciation on our homes. How about improving access to where WE live, i.e. another Ridgeland exit from I-220? The Jackson Street / Old Agency exit is already backed up in the afternoon and the a.m. traffic from there to I-220 is atrocious! And Reniassance isn't even open yet! And I-55 traffic will only get worse with more growth in Madison! Let's improve the infrastructure in South Madison County before we use our tax dollars to help the "poor" folks in Reunion and along 463.

Jerry Swanson said...

D.I.'s recommendation seems like good common sense.

Press said...

We are glad you are on top of this - it sounds like you have some valid points, and I will support your judgement on this.

Concerned Citizen said...

I am glad you are there and maybe you can single handily move things forward.........Keep up the good work and NO we do not need a bond issue for an interchange.........we have to figure out how to pay for that expensive healthcare for the county employees...

Carl said...

Had planned to write this morning to express my appreciation for your stand on the question of an interchange at Reunion.

I support Dick Hall completely in his staunch opposition. I believe that any decision-makers willing to drive through the Gluckstadt interchange two or three times daily for a week might develop a new perspective on where the priority lies.

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

D.I.'s analysis is right on target. Our taxes are high enough. We must all live within our means, including County Government. There are always good projects and works to be done, but we can never do them all. I'm really glad we have D.I. as as our Supervisor.

J.H. Clark said...

I found the pointsou made in your mass e-mail most
interesting, especially in light of your position in the recent
controversy surrounding the Bailey 13-story building, i.e., your final
position FOR the building as opposed to your first position AGAINST the
building. This makes me wonder if the remarks you’ve made today represent
your FINAL thoughts on the interchange or might we expect some change
when -- what?? -- someone talks to you??

Several of your points are especially interesting in light of your work
to facilitate approval of the Bailey building --

You say: Many neighborhoods have suffered deceasing property values since
reaching a high point in 2005. Some experts predict values could plummet
another 25% in 2008 and 2009 before starting to improve. Hopefully, this
reduction in home values does not impact our tax revenues.

I marvel that with this prospect you could support a building that will
definitely have an adverse impact on property values on neighborhoods
abutting the Parkway and probably will adversely affect other
neighborhoods such as my own street, Rolling Meadows.

You say: There is an obvious over supply of commercial and retail
properties with scores of empty new stores in Ridgeland, Madison, and in the
along Hwy 51 and in Gluckstadt.

Given this glut of commercial and retail properties, why is it that you
think we need a 13-story building?

You say: Bonds are long term, paid over 20 years, but some are used for
routine maintenance of roads and streets which is projected to last 7-12
years at the most. Especially in our Yazoo clay. This is like financing a
car of 10 years knowing it will wear out in 5 years.

Yes, exactly! So why is it a good idea to use TIF bonds for the 13-story
building (and Renaissance development) since these bonds delay tax
payments to the City of Ridgeland for 20 years when the building will be
completely depreciated?

You say: We have no long range planning capability and badly need a
Planning Commission focused on the future with a goal of developing a
comprehensive list of projected requirements and integrated capital
expenditure funding plan.

So why did the Board of Supervisors leap in to issue the TIF bonds for Mr.
Bailey’s development when Mr. Bailey certainly had the capacity to finance
the project himself (especially with the aid of his silent partner Jim
Barksdale)? Since that was probably done before you were sneaked in as
Supervisor, why didn't you work to revoke approval for these TIF bonds?

You say: The County has already agreed to a number of the popular TIF
funding programs for new developments. These include the new Lowe’s store in
Ridgeland, the Colony Park area in Ridgeland, and several others. These
are great when used for the originally intended purpose for redevelopment
projects, but should be carefully used for the initial development of the
most sought after properties in the State along I-55, etc.

While these will result in tax base growth, the resulting taxes are
already committed to payment of bonds issued for infrastructure. So,
these funds are not available for general budget use and planning. So,
TIFs can cause the estimated growth figures to be of limited use if the
"growth" money is already committed. More recently the County has
started putting a "cap" on property tax revenues that could be applied to
bond service, but there were no caps on the first few approved TIFs.

If this is your position on TIF funding, why did you so heartily do all
that you could through a web site you set up to ensure that Mr. Bailey's
13-story building was approved by the City of Ridgeland?

And finally YOU SAY: Another example -- Who is completing the County’s FY
2009 Congressional Funding Request which is due this Friday, February 8,

Sir: YOU are the Supervisor. Why are you asking your constituents? We
ask you – WHO is completing this request? Why don't you find out and let
us know? Certainly if this is something that is due and not done, we
voters will hold you responsible, along with your fellow Board members.

Janet Hendrick Clark

Ignored Constituent said...

D.I. is dead wrong and it is actions like his that have allowed the traffic in this county to become unbearable.

Guy said...

I was aware of most of it but you draw a very clear picture and gave an accurate assesment of the Counties situation regarding Bonds and funding.
We have got to get the media to weekly put this before the Madison County residents.
Stay the course DI.

Lake Caroline said...

I surely wish our supervisor was this sharp!! You know, common sense should tell us that an existing interchange in disrepair on I-55 and causing a safety hazard should come before a new interchange intended primarily to open up new land to commercial use..... particularly when that new interchange will be only a mile from the Madison/463 interchange.

JS - NO NEW TAXES said...

do not wish to incur an increase in my taxes to benefit the few land owners and developers that the Reunion interchange project will impact.
It's time will come, soon enough.

I am in agreement with the Highway Commission that the Gluckstadt interchange plans should go forward now, and the proposed Reunion interchange wait its turn.

My priorities are, first, NO NEW TAXES.
Second, allow the South Madison county economic growth now occurring to pay its way and re-pay the TIF money.

No Willy Nilly said...

We don't need to will-nilly issue bonds just because we can get the financing to do so....keep taxes low and people who want to complain about the roads can move to rankin county./..

DE said...

Thanks for the info. I agree with all you have to say. As much as I hate tax increases I hate debt even more. We need to do the right thing and finance life limited improvements for LESS than their projected lifespan.

The Reunion Parkway interchange makes sense and would be a proactive shot in the quality of life arm. The effects of this program will yield traffic improvements on all county roads from Old Agency all the way to Nissan Parkway. We pay the gas tax and we should be entitled to benefit from it, but even if not I think that the man hours and fuel wasted in traffic can justify our having to pay for it -if required. But please can we keep the brick trim money in our own pockets? We need infrastructure, not Mary's Art.

The detention center and jail must be funded. We must not view this as an option or something we can wait on. The primary reason property values have gone down in Jackson and Hinds County is because common criminals are not incarcerated and thus are free to continue their activities with little consequence. If we fail to address every aspect of our security -simply for the sake of saving a few dollars now- then in the end we will all find that we have lost a significant portion of the value of our homes and businesses. Justice is a good investment and is perhaps our most important infrastructure expense.

Thanks for having a common sense and fiscally responsible attitude. Sometimes it seems like this county is full of "fairytale politicians" who think they can spend and spend and never really pay the note. The recession is here. It is high time that we all face the music, tighten our belts, spend money where we must and let the economy and tax base catch up before we reinvest in any pet "economic development projects".

Annandale said...

What about the repair of our roads in Annandale? Tim Johnson has lost his mind. Its this kind of management that has gotten the County in the shape that its in.
He is allowing Mary to run the entire county and the rest of the board is letting him get away with it.
How can you spend 33 million for private developers and not come up with the money to repair existing roads that have fallen into unsafe "FAILED" condition?
We need our roads repaired,and Gluckstadt Road widened and that interchange corrected before the 33 million is floated by the board.
How can the other board members allow this to happen when their districts are also being ignored?

Buster said...

DI, from what I have read, you and I are in agreement on the issue. Yepee!

Don said...

I think you are right on the money! Based on the decline in home prices, I think a tax increase is inevitable. When considering what will happen to our tax bill, I think we have to keep in mind lower growth in assessed valuation will create more pressure for increases in taxes to support the Madison County School system, in addition to the impact of the bonds being issued for road construction.

Ray said...

Totally agree! We should not fail to raise taxes when they are necessary to establish or maintain important facilities and functions.

Randy said...

DI -

My thoughts - as I see it a lot of the growth is a direct result of the growth or speculative growth around Nissan and its suppliers. The state was so gung ho about this economic development and rushed to put in the interchanges around Nissan and now MDOT is not stepping up to the plate when the other parts of the transportation infrastructure is pushed to the limit....why do they need to argue about what gets done and in what order.
It is obvious of the needs - and the HELP program is the rational approach for both of these interchanges. However - I also feel that Reunion - like the hwy 22 issues are developer promoted issues and not as needed as Gluckstadt.

Thanks for taking the stand you did on this!

George said...

Impressive amount of research you did, and explained very well in your letter. Now I can understand why you were opposed to the bond issue.

Fred said...

Thank you, DI.
Today I e-mailed the Madison County Board of Supervisors to voice my outrage that they think it's okay to use county money to pay for an Interstate interchange, which should be payed for by the State. I noticed you were the only supervisor to vote against the bond issue. I appreciate that.
Will Dick Hall's opposition be able to keep the county from spending our money?

BJ said...

Thank you for this detail information. I wish I could vote for you.

Stan said...

Thank you for this information. Keep up the good work!

Henry said...

Very well written! I appreciate receiving the information you provided.
Your recommendations certainly seem logical to me.

June said...

Thank you for this very infomative site. I do not understand all the ins and outs of bonds and budgets and needs, but I do know we are in a very tight economic situation in which noone can know exactly what is going to happen this next year or so. So, I highly agree to the recommendation made in this email. We have so many dozens of strip malls that have empty storefronts....just look at what Ridgeland is doing for a main street. I'm afraid the effect of the empty beautiful buildings will be negative. We
need to be extremely carefull until the economy makes a turn for the better.

Mark said...

Thanks for the update. I appreciate the information and look forward to hearing more in the future. As a taxpayer in Madison County and the State, I like to know what is going on in the area.

Pete said...

Add to that the jitters over the presidential race and the lack of leadership there.

It ain't pretty right now.

Tom said...

Right on If you have not, this info as written should be shared with all elected officials in the county.

Thanks for doing your homework. This is the type of info I knew you would provide. It should be required reading for the queen.

Pete said...

Looks like you've covered the bases. Thanks for saying Reunion AND Gluckstadt are critical needs. I hope we don't devolve into a class warfare struggle like often happens. Reunion and Gluckstadt interchanges will help make the Parkway a success.

I am concerned the economic downturn will hit everybody and every project negatively.

Everyone needs to work together. We need good information to work from.