Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Kenner Town Hall Tonight To Discuss Yenni’s Debt Plan

There will be a Town Hall meeting tonight, Wednesday, beginning at 7:30pm at the Kenner Pavilion, corner of Loyola and Vintage. The topic will be Mayor Yenni’s plan to refinance old debt and borrow $28.6 Million to fund new beautification and aesthetic projects.

The Mayor’s plan, which is being fast-tracked through without any public input, was crafted by Yenni’s hand-picked Economic Development Committee, a group of 41 of Mayor Yenni’s friends and campaign supporters.
At the last Kenner City Council meeting, at the Mayor’s insistence, the Council approved a Resolution calling for the city’s bond counsel to move forward with the State Bond Commission to receive approval to sell bonds “not to exceed $47 Million”. The vote was 5-2 in favor with Councilmen Gregory Carroll and Joe Stagni supporting a delay while they polled their constituents. To date, none of the 7 council members nor the Mayor has polled the residents of Kenner or held a Town Hall meeting to discuss and debate these projects and the debt plan.

The plan consists of 10 projects, none of which will create any sustainable jobs or new businesses for Kenner and will increase Kenner’s debt by 32% and be paid back with sales tax revenue for the next 20 years ending in 2033.
The 10 projects are:

-Rebuilding the Duncan Canal. Cost: $11 Million to be split 50/50 between the City and the State
- Williams Blvd. Corridor from I-10 to Vintage. $11.250 Million (all City)

- Loyola Streetscape from I-10 to Georgetown. $3.3 Million (all City)
- Power Blvd. Beautification from West Esplanade to Vintage. $900,000 (all City)

- The Intersection of Airline and Williams Blvd. Landscape and Beautification. $500,000 (all City)
- Loyola Landscape and Beautification $500,000 (all City)

- Veterans at the Airport Access Road. $500,000 (all City)
- Erlander Bike Path, from Vintage to the lake. $866,000 (all City)

- Vintage and Williams Box Culverts. $1.2 Million (all City)
- Williams Blvd. from Vets to West Napoleon. $5.490 Million (all City)

A part of Yenni’s plan also calls for refinancing a portion of Kenner’s existing bond debt that is set to expire in 2018. The city will lower the interest rate on this financing by about 1% to 3.3-3.5%, which is still higher than the current national average for Municipal Bonds at 2.54% and higher than the interest rate of the recently announced debt refinancing by Jefferson Parish (1.8-2.8%).