While few are talking about this and the Courthouse is taking pains not to be too transparent about it, Mayor Karl Dean's 2010 blueprint to refinance debt in order to avoid raising taxes or cutting services is in limbo at best and in trouble at worst. Such is Metro's undue dependence of the vicissitudes of Wall Street and the Mayor's high-stakes risk of starting the single largest capital project in Nashville history with no safety net except the revenues that go to pay for the really unimportant stuff like police, parks and schools:
Turmoil in the financial markets has temporarily put the brakes on a bond refinancing by Metro Government. The city is trying to get a lower interest rate on roughly $100 million in bonds, originally used to pay for construction projects at parks and schools.
Metro Finance director Rich Riebeling says as a policy, the city must save at least 3.5 percent to justify refinancing any debt.
“It’s all subject to market conditions, and because of the volatility in the market right now with the stock market and interest rates, everybody kind of up in the air, we want to wait and sit back a week or two, see how it shakes out.”
And who doesn't feel more secure knowing that the Metro Finance Director has staked Nashville's financial security and Metro's delivery of services on Wall Street uncertainty? And all in the name of lavishing our resources on tourists and of doing the greatest good for the smallest number of nobles.
UPDATE: A commenter below asks about rumored plans to deal with budget shortfalls by cutting retail slated for the Korean Veterans Boulevard side of the new convention center. Can anyone confirm or deny?