City of Batesville, Arkansas

The City of Batesville, Arkansas, with an estimated population of 10,250 is located in Independence County, approximately 95 miles northeast of Little Rock.  Some of the City’s major employers the White River Medical Center, PECO Foods, Bad Boy Motors, Future Fuel and the University of Arkansas Community College at Batesville and Lyon College.

As the commercial hub of the area, the leadership of the City desired to improve the quality of life for the area’s residents and to promote economic activity via the development of a large community center project and the expansion of the City’s parks and recreational activities.  The wishes of the voters included a multi-purpose community center, swimming facilities, baseball fields, softball fields and soccer fields and any of the necessary land acquisition, parking, landscaping, signage, drainage, lighting, concession, road and utility improvements related thereto.

The Solution

Crews served as the sole manager and underwrote voter-approved bonds for the purpose of financing multi-purpose recreational improvements for the City of Batesville. The Bonds are special obligations of the City payable solely from collections from two sales and use taxes levied by the City at an aggregate rate of 1.00% (the “Taxes”). The Taxes consist of one at the rate of 0.5% (the “Bond Tax”) and one at the rate of 0.5% (the “Permanent Tax”).  The collections of the Bond Tax may only be used to pay the obligations of the Bonds. Collections of the Permanent Tax may be used to pay obligations of the Bonds, for park and recreational purposes, public safety purposes, and for street purposes. The bonds were rated AA- by Standard & Poor’s at the time of issuance.

The Difference

Crews worked hand in hand with the City leaders before the election in determining a preliminary estimate of the borrowing amount needed to provide sufficient funding for the City’s plans and worked with the City in addressing the voter’s wishes.  A project of this nature takes a lot of time, energy, and planning.  Crews makes it a point to go above and beyond working with leaders to succeed in their mission each step of the way even when the process may be several years in the making.