SUBSTITUTE RESOLUTION NO. RS2010-1089A resolution calling a county-wide referendum election to ascertain the will of the people regarding the issuance of bonds by the Convention Center Authority to be secured by any revenues of the Metropolitan Government for the construction of a new Downtown Convention Center, and appropriating an amount not to exceed Three Hundred Thousand Dollars from the Undesignated Fund Balance of the General Fund of the General Services District to provide the necessary funds for the referendum.
WHEREAS, the Metropolitan Council has been asked to approve a resolution authorizing the issuance of bonds by the Convention Center Authority of the Metropolitan Government for the construction of a new $585,000,000 convention center in downtown Nashville, and authorizing the execution of an Intergovernmental Project Agreement; and
WHEREAS, this new convention center would be the largest capital project in the history of the State of Tennessee, and, with a publicly-funded hotel component, would increase the city’s general obligation debt by almost 70%; and
WHEREAS, a 2007 Survey USA poll taken during the last mayoral election showed that 51% percent of Nashvillians were against the Metropolitan Government building a new downtown convention center, as opposed to 37% in favor of the project; and
WHEREAS, this proposed project is so risky that Goldman Sachs, the Music City Center’s bond underwriter, is requiring that a general fund backstop of Metropolitan Government taxpayer dollars guarantee approximately two-thirds, or $400,000, of the project’s cost because the projected revenues do not adequately cover the projected costs and debt service associated with the MCC; and
WHEREAS, as a result of the worst economic recession since the Great Depression, the Metropolitan Government has been forced to layoff workers, reduce hours at parks and library facilities, and postpone capital projects that would benefit the taxpayers of Nashville and Davidson County; and
WHEREAS, the citizens and taxpayers of this city deserve the right to have a say in whether the Metropolitan Government should spend such a large amount on a capital project that most of our citizens will never use; and
WHEREAS, Section 7.05 of the Metropolitan Charter provides that the council may, if it desires, call an election for the purpose of ascertaining the will of the qualified electors with respect to the issuance of any bonds payable from any taxes or other revenues of the Metropolitan Government; and
WHEREAS, the Metropolitan Council desires to hold a referendum election to ascertain the will of the people regarding the issuance of bonds for the construction of a new convention center.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT ENACTED BY THE COUNCIL OF THE METROPOLITAN GOVERNMENT OF NASHVILLE AND DAVIDSON COUNTY:
Section 1. The Metropolitan County Council hereby calls a referendum election to be conducted by the Davidson County Election Commission as soon as reasonably practicable under the laws of the State of Tennessee to ascertain the will of the people regarding the issuance of bonds by the Convention Center Authority to be secured by revenues of the Metropolitan Government for the construction of a new downtown convention center. The referendum shall specifically include the following question:
“Do you favor the expenditure of funds and/or revenues of the Metropolitan Government for the purpose of constructing a new convention center in downtown Nashville, Tennessee?”
Section 2. There is hereby appropriated an amount not to exceed Three Hundred Thousand Dollars ($300,000) from the Undesignated Fund Balance of the General Fund of the General Services District to provide the necessary funds to conduct the county-wide referendum as provided in Section 1 of this Resolution.
Section 3. This Resolution shall take effect from and after its adoption, the welfare of The Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County requiring it.
Sponsored by: Eric Crafton
|Referred to:||Budget & Finance Committee
Convention & Tourism Committee
|Introduced:||January 19, 2010|
|Substitute Introduced:||January 19, 2010|
|Failed:||January 19, 2010|