Council Approves Funding for Fire Department Mini Pumper, Authorizes Crews & Associates as Placement Agent for Indoor Sports and Rec Complex Funding

By Julie Perine on October 09, 2018 via

An evening which started with an informal work session and ended in executive session featured a short-lived City Council meeting at Bridgeport City Hall.
Mayor Andy Lang addressed agenda items, starting with an open public hearing concerning the request of Ron and Jane Diamond to abandon an alley adjacent to their property located on Grand Avenue.
At the Sept. 10 Council meeting, the city’s governing body voted affirmatively to grant the abandonment, which Community Development Director Andrea Kerr explained was a portion of the alley beside the Diamonds’ home at 402 Grand Avenue. With no opposition proposed by the public tonight, City Attorney Dean Ramsey will put legal documentation in place to grant the abandonment.
There was one item in the awards and presentation section of the agenda: The declaration of October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Mayor Andy Lang read and presented to representatives of Shinnston Rebekah Lodge No. 47 and the Harrison County Breast Cancer Awareness Committee. (See video below.)
Council next addressed a funding request from the Bridgeport High School Chapter of Drug Free Clubs of America. Club sponsor Anita Hornor estimates that between the BHS chapter and a proposed new Bridgeport Middle School chapter, 300 students will participate during the 2018-19 school year. Council unanimously approved a General Fund budget revision for $7,100 which covers the participation fee of $57 per student for the 300 proposed members.
Council members also unanimously approved a capital reserve fund budget revision for $173,516.78 to purchase a mini pumper for Bridgeport Fire Department. Fire Chief Phil Hart explained why the piece of equipment would be such an asset to Bridgeport and outlying areas.
“There are places in our first due area outside of the city where there have been concerns because we couldn’t access private bridges. We can get to people but can’t take our large fire truck across there. I would not jeopardize our equipment or personnel,” Hart said. “With construction going on and harsh weather conditions such as treacherous roads, instead of our own three-quarters of a million-dollar truck, chancing an accident, we could use this piece of equipment. It would be equipped with fire, rescue and EMS equipment and enough hose to fight fire in a steep, rural area or on a bank in a snowstorm. It would be a great investment and use of taxpayer dollars; a benefit not only to people in the city, but in outlying, first-due areas.”
As the pumper is a more current need, its cost is being offset by a one-year escrow to eventually replace a fire truck and additional monies set aside for department needs. 
Council also voted unanimously to observe the city’s trick or treat activity 6-7:30 p.m. Wed., Oct. 31.
Finally, Council adopted a resolution authorizing Crews & Associates, Inc. as placement agent to solicit proposals for private placement of municipal sales tax revenue bonds from prospective purchasers in connection with the Bridgeport Indoor Sports and Recreation Complex.
Rob Steptoe of Crews & Associates provided a report to Council.
“We have 14 banks, local and otherwise, which are interested in receiving a bid package for the complex. I’ve spoken face-to-face or on had telephone conversations with every point of contact we’re working with during the solicitation period.”
Steptoe said his company is also very close on other components of a bid package which would include feasibility studies and projections authorizing an investment letter that a prospective bank purchaser would sign, attesting to the fact that investors are sophisticated enough and understand all the aspects of the potential loan and transaction.
“We are extremely close, but we want to be very sure that we have Council’s full approval on every aspect of that turn sheet and other components before we release it to the market,” Steptoe said.
At the conclusion of business, Council entered into executive session. 

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