Ordinance and Resolution approved on April 10th
By: María Alejandra Pulgar
@marialepulgar – NAHJ #37172
DORAL, FL – The Resolution and Ordinance to authorize and define the framework for the issuance of the first series of General Obligation Bonds (GOB), which will fund the development of Parks and Recreation projects in the City of Doral, were approved unanimously during the Council Meeting on April 10th.
Residents approved last November the issuance of bonds up to $150,000,000 in a referendum. The first series of bonds will be issued for $ 50,000,000, and according to the timeline in progress, it is expected to happen as early as May 2019.
A public workshop took place last April 2nd, where consultants from PFM Financial Advisors explained to the Mayor and Council the steps needed to complete the operation that will allow the City to obtain the much needed funds, to complete long-awaited projects for the enhancement of the quality of life for Doral residents.
Among the projects that will be executed with the funds obtained from this first issuance of bonds are:
- Design and Construction of Downtown Doral Cultural Arts Center
- Design and Construction of Walk to Park/White Course Park
- Design and Construction of Pedestrian Bridge
- Enhancements for Morgan Levy Park
- Building renovations at Doral Meadow Park
- Complete design and construction documents for Doral Central Park
- Permittingfor Doral Central Park development
- Construction Phase 1 for Doral Central Park: Earthwork and Utilities
What is a General Obligation Bond?
Bonds are debt instruments issued by institutions to raise funds for their projects, backing the transactions with its resources or other forms of credit.
Florida Statute defines General Obligation Bonds as financial instruments “secured by the full faith and credit of a governmental unit or payable from the proceeds of ad valorem taxes of a governmental unit.” (FLA Stat. 215.84 (2) (b) (1))
Local governments issue General Obligation Bonds to fund the execution of public works. The Ad Valorem taxes levied allow them to cover the payments and interests. In the case of Doral, it’s a rating of AA according to S&P and the fact that it has never in the past offered public bonds, provides a good financial reference to potential investors on General Bonds that will be issued starting in 2019.
Steps to issue the Bonds Series
According to the information delivered during the workshop, the City of Doral has to assemble a team to handle the issuance of the Bonds. Members of that team are: rating agencies; external financial and bond advisors, who will provide counsel regarding the preparation and execution of the bond issuance; and City personnel, in particular the City Manager and City Attorney, who along with the Mayor and Council will set the legal framework, supervise the operations and ensure the protection of the interests of the City of Doral during the process.
The Bond Ordinance, #2019-07, which was approved in first reading on March 13th and passed in second reading on April 10th, is the Legal document that authorizes the issuance of the City’s General Obligation Bonds for up to $150 million in one or more series, to be paid from Ad Valorem taxes levied by the city on all taxable properties within its limits.
On the other hand, the Bond Resolution 19-2019 “Parks and Recreation Projects, defines the details for handling the issuance of the first series of $50 million bonds including, among other points, delegating to the City Manager certain decisions on the matter within the parameters determined in the resolution.
During the workshop, the advisors proposed the following schedule of events geared towards the completion of the issuance for this first series of bonds:
- April 10th – Second reading and enactment of Bond Ordinance and adoption of Series Resolution
- April 17th – Post Summary Notice of Sale, Official Notice of Bond sale and Preliminary Official Statement
- April 30th – Competitive Sale of Bonds
- May 6th – Post Official Statement
- May 14th – Closing
These are projected dates and depending on the progress of the activities the public will be timely informed of the details regarding the sales and awarding of the bonds.
What is the estimated impact on Doral residents?
The City has planned to have three bond issuances in 2019, 2021 and 2023, depending on the evolution of the construction requirements. According to the initial projections, the current tax base of the city and anticipated growth, the tax impact that homeowners will have in the upcoming years, starting in 2020, would be between $104 and $127 approximately a year, depending on the value of their properties and the millage rate determined for the City.