Smyrna Council OKs hospital bonds, new redistricting maps
by Noreen Cochran
February 08, 2013 12:06 AM | 2399 views | 11 11 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Smyrna City Council on Monday gave a 5-0 go-ahead for a nonprofit psychiatric and addiction hospital to refinance an old debt using $6.5 million in new bonds.

Bob Fink, founder of the Ridgeview Institute, retired CEO and current board chair, said issuing the revenue anticipation bonds Feb. 19 will be like refinancing a home mortgage.

“In 1998, we had a bond financing to replace previous bonds. It was for additions. There was one patient cottage and a day hospital,” he said. “Now we’re refinancing the 1998 debt.”

That debt was $8.3 million at 6.25 percent from Wachovia Bank, which Fink said has been negotiated down to 2.9 percent through Wells Fargo.

The city needed to vote on it because its hospital authority is issuing the bonds, he said, but there is no cost to taxpayers.

“We always had the connection with Smyrna,” Fink said about mayors serving on its board since 1975. “Now that we’re refinancing the bonds, the bonds have to be issued through the authority so they will be tax-exempt, because we are a nonprofit,” he said.

A rented cottage is wrapped up in the new bond package, according to City Councilman Wade Lnenicka, who is on the board of the nonprofit’s neighbor, Woodland Ridge Senior Living.

“Part of the proceeds will be used to purchase the cottage property from Woodland Ridge. Ridgeview wants to buy the property because they plan to use the cottage long-term,” he said.

Besides a cash infusion, the purchase will also save on long-term expenses for the senior living community.

“It avoids future financial capital expenditures for the Woodland Ridge board like if it needs a new roof or new electrical system,” he said.

Lnenicka recused himself from the vote Monday, citing “an abundance of caution” in preventing the appearance of impropriety.

“I don’t know if there’s a conflict of interest because I don’t have an interest in Ridgeview, but our city attorney suggested because Ridgeview was planning to buy some land from Woodland Ridge, it was best to recuse myself,” he said Wednesday.

Mayor Max Bacon said Lnenicka should have voted because the hospital, which the mayor called “a great corporate partner providing a great service,” lies in the councilman’s ward.

“I disagreed with recusing himself because I think he’s either a council member or a board member,” Bacon said. “When you have something like this, I think it’s very important that you have someone there representing the city. Who does he represent? The citizens of Ward 6 or this volunteer board he’s on?”

Redistricting maps OK’d

The city council voted 6-0, with Councilwoman Andrea Blustein out sick, to approve the new redistricting maps.

Councilman Ron Fennel said questions from residents of two wards were resolved.

Fennel said because residential growth was highest in his ward — including his own move there 10 years ago — he will lose about 40 percent of his constituents.

“It’s where the growth happens that defines where you draw the line. Everything below the Silver Comet Trail will be in Ward 7,” he said.

Fennel said he and Lnenicka held joint town hall meetings Thursday to go over the changes, which affect both their wards.

The new maps will go to the state Legislature for approval this session, Fennel said.
Comments-icon Post a Comment
absolute power
February 11, 2013
Nope, not a Smyrna hater.

You certainly have it backwards.

I love Smyrna, and the citizens & believe the citizens are being lied to & not getting results or services they deserve from the dishonest government.

Its Max Bacon & his minions that hate the citizens of Smyrna.

Look how poorly they are treated!
@ MK
February 11, 2013
MK, you sounded like broken record a couple of years ago. I don't know you, but you sound like one heck'va bitter hatefilled person. Get a life.

Being vile will only send a person to hell faster.
absolute power
February 10, 2013
Ad hominem attacks are Smyrnas strategy to silence anyone that expects & insists on open government.

Absolute power applies precisely to Smyrna. No city needs one man holding power for 26 years. This is how graft & cronyism become the rule.

Smyrna citizens deserve so much more than what has been shoveled down their throats for 26 years.

Roswell, Dunwoody, Woodstock & Decatur are fine examples of open government.

Sams Mom
February 10, 2013
Well, move to Roswell, Dunwoody, Woodstock or Decatur then. Why you Smyrna haters use good parts of your day getting up every morning looking for ways to hate Smyrna is beyond me. Do you knit? Do you sew? Do you garden? Hey, read a book! Same old negative stuff same old negative people. Just a different day. Bore.
feed the pig
February 09, 2013
Smyrna is simply a dishonest government with no concern of ensuring quality of life for its citizens.

There is tight control over the release of any info.

Citizens are lied to & kept in the dark.

Meetings are held in back rooms, behind locked doors.

Citizens have no say how their tax money will be spent.

The mayor, & ONLY the mayor decides.

to MK
February 08, 2013

Will you ever shut up hating Smyrna

because they arrested you......

Move to Decatur or Dunwoody for God's SAKE!!!!!
February 08, 2013
Yea! People working together for the common good of the community. As M. Stewart would say, "It's a good thing!"
Sams Mom
February 08, 2013
A community that works together is what makes it strong. This is a fine example of teamwork that benefits all. Kudos.
mk-crony city
February 08, 2013
It really is a shame about Smyrna. The city is a reflection of 26 years of Max Bacons cronyism.

Vacant, unproductive, stagnant. There's no artwork, no interesting architecture, no new businesses, vacant developments, no office towers, no trendy resturants, no street trees, no bike lanes, no single stream recycling. Just a shell of a city.

$20 million WASTED on a median & sidewalk for a mile & 1/2 of Concord Road. This SPLOST waste needs a thorough audit & investigation!!

Roswell is strong & vibrant w/ a growing economy & a great effort to protect the environment. Kudos to their mayor Jere Wood for bringing great things to their city & at at the same time understanding the necessity for new ideas enacting a resolution to limit term limits to 3 terms.

Also kudos to Sandy Springs mayor Eva Galambos, for recognizing what is working in Roswell along Canton St., & saying she would like see her city encourage the same walkable area w/ resturants & shops along Hammond Drive.

Woodstock has an outstanding downtown, also w/ a desire to ensure protection of their natural environment for residents w/ greenways & bike trails . The builder that was originally scheduled to build Belmonts Hills, got out of Smyrna in the nick of time & built the extraordinary Woodstock Downtown.

You can see various cities growing businesses & ensuring to look out for their homeowners assets, from Dunwoody, to Alpharetta to Decatur.

As long as Smyrna has ts secret back room meetings, protecting cronies, & neglecting neighborhoods & citizens, it will continue to fail.
February 09, 2013
I don't live in Smyrna, but MK, your relentless diatribes targeting the city indicate an underlying mental condition that you need to have addressed.

The sooner the better. For you and everyone else.
February 10, 2013
As I recall, Smyrna paid you to leave. Why are you still there?
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