A 'win-win': City restructures Town Center CRA note

Matt Algarin

City leaders were more than willing to spend a little more than $20,000 Monday night, as it will save the city more than $300,000 annually.

"This is nothing but a win-win for the city," Finance Director Bragg Farmer told the council.

With a unanimous vote, city leaders agreed to restructure the Town Center Community Redevelopment Area revenue note. By extending the life of the Town Center CRA for an additional 10 years (until 2038), the city will see an annual savings of $340,000 in financing expenses on the existing $11,205,000 CRA note.

The Town Center Redevelopment plan was adopted by resolution Aug. 3, 1988 with a duration of 30 years.

As a result of the economic downturn, according to city documents, the Town Center CRA has "suffered a significant financial shortfall, on an annual basis, which the city covers with budgeted funds."

The Town Center CRA is currently $2 million in debt to the city of Destin, and the "long term pro-forma for the CRA," with conservative projections, indicates the CRA could end its original term more than $6 million in debt to the city.

By adopting the restructured plan Monday night, the Town Center CRA should be able to eliminate its debt to the city by the end of the revised term.

All told, City Manager Greg Kisela said the restructuring just made sense for the city.

"All this really does is put the city in the perfect position," he said. "It puts us in a position where we will be able to repay, as the CRA, the city."