Columbus, Miss. (WCBI) – Propst Park in Columbus is once again at a standstill.Thank you for reading this post, don't forget to subscribe!
Columbus Vice Mayor Joseph Mickens said the issue is not about paying for park upgrades. The problem is how the city will pay for it, he said.
“I will not be the reason this project doesn’t get completed,” Mickens said.
The Columbus City Council voted during the summer to take out a $3 million loan for park improvements.
Mickens said the council was given only one day before a special meeting last week to decide whether to accept or reject the bid on the loan’s interest rate.
“It should give the council more time to process what’s going on before we come in and vote,” Mickens said. “My vote was: Did we get the best deal? We are put in a position to handle the resources coming into the city of Columbus. Did we explore every avenue we could? Did we talk to Cadence’s bankers? Did we talk to the bankers at Bancorp South, whoever the bankers are? “Have we explored all our options?”
At that special meeting, city financial officer Jim Brigham presented and recommended a bid to the city council.
“We were told he was the only one who had bid on us, and that didn’t sit well with me,” Mickens said. “Let me hear it myself. Was this the only option here?”
Interest on the $3 million loan will be set at more than 5%.
Mickens said he did not understand why local banks were not an option.
“We have not repaid any loan. We have a lot of financial institutions here in the city, and to be frank with you, I’m a little surprised that no financial institution in the city of Columbus would give us a loan to support us on this project. It bothers me,” Mickens said.
Propst Park is expected to be back on the agenda for Thursday’s work session.
We will keep you updated as the story develops.
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