Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Council Approves Spending $112,700 to Borrow $2 Million for Six Months

San Angelo City Council approved borrowing $1,995,000 to renovate Animal Shelter renovations and fund upgrading an intersection.  

The item came after discussion on over $5 million in improvements for the Bill Aylor Sr. Memorial River Stage.  At least one council member encouraged staff to think thirty years ahead on River Stage improvements.

City Council took the opposite tack with Animal Shelter facilities.  They ignored Animal Services in the strategic planning process, despite horrific hoarding conditions and a severe roach infestation. 

Funds approved to renovate the facility are merely to bring the current square footage to an acceptable level.  Council members made it clear there was no forward vision in making facility improvements.

The City of San Angelo is yet to bid out shelter renovations, budgeted at $1.7 million.  


I will wager the $2 million tax note will be paid back before shelter renovations are completed.

During the TIRZ discussion the Mayor said Council needed to make fiscally responsible decisions.  Spending $55,000 in note issuance fees and $57,700 in interest costs to borrow nearly $2 million for six months seems a waste of taxpayer money.  

That $112,700 would be better spent on low cost spay/neuter services than financing short term borrowing. City Council did not see it that way.  They had an extra $112,700 to spend on money changers.

Update 3-22-23:  It took a public information request to get actual costs for the notes Council approved.  Issuance fees are $49,000, bond counsel fees $3,500 and interest costs $41,327 (as the city shortened the term of the note to August 15, 2023).  Those total $93,827, a significant amount that could fund may a low cost spay/neuter surgery program.

Update 3-25-23:  The TIRZ Board Chair criticized Council's decision to deny the application of a nonprofit organization, saying it acted unjustly.  Will Jon Mark Hogg get the John Bariou treatment, discipline or outright replacement?

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