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City council to OK line of credit

By Staff
AT PLAY Kia, left, and Lia Breaizel play on the playground at Highland Park. While officials have not specified what the money might be used for, the city of Meridian's proposed $10 million line of credit notice lists improving parks and recreation facilities as a potential use. Photo by Paula Merritt/The Meridian Star
By Fredie Carmichael/staff writer
Jan. 7, 2002
The Meridian City Council is expected to authorize the borrowing of up to $10 million at a regular meeting Tuesday unless an opposing petition with at least 1,500 signatures is submitted. A successful petition would force a citywide vote in the matter.
If approved, the city will be able to draw up to $10 million from the Mississippi Development Bank, a fund administered by the Mississippi Development Authority.
Three of five city council members polled George Thomas of Ward 1, Barbara Henson of Ward 3 and Bobby Smith of Ward 5 said they plan to vote to authorize the line of credit. Council members Mary Perry of Ward 2 and Jesse Palmer Sr. of Ward 4 could not be reached for comment.
City leaders said they have no specific plans for the money but could use it for public parking projects, city buildings, parks and public playgrounds, firefighting equipment, paving and repairing streets and repairing, improving and extending sanitary, storm and drainage systems.
Henson agreed.
Smith said there are additional safeguards built into future actions.
Meridian City Clerk Ed Skipper said last month that approving the loan doesn't mean city leaders need, or want, to use all the money at once.
Money borrowed would have to be repaid within 25 years by Meridian taxpayers.
The Meridian City Council voted unanimously on Dec. 4, 2001, meeting to approve a resolution in support of the action.
What do you think?
The Meridian Star asked these city residents what they thought about the city borrowing $10 million without being
specific about its possible uses.
I just think they should specify what they need the money for. So I can't really say if I'm for against it without knowing what it's for.
Francis Harman Sr., 78
You could get yourself into trouble real quick if you don't have an area of designation for the line of credit. Before you know it, people will be fighting over who needs how much funds most and which ward is in the most need to use it … there should at least be a priority list beforehand of what the city's needs are from greatest to least. Even if you're only talking about using $1,000 of the credit amount available.
Rebecca Spears, 44
I don't really mind, but at the same time I'd like to know what it's for. I think we as city residents have a right to know what it's for.
William Beard, 25