MURFREESBORO, Tenn. — The Community Investment Study Group will conduct its first public meeting next month to begin developing recommendations on the best management of MED proceeds received by the City from the sale of the Electric Department.
The City sold its electric distribution system operations and assets to Middle Tennessee Electric Membership Corporation (MTEMC) for $245 million with $43 million paid at closing and annual installments of $17,290,134 paid over a 15-year period with interest totaling nearly $302.4 million.
The Council appointed Murfreesboro Councilman Rick LaLance Feb. 25 to serve on the Community Investment Study Group to provide advice on handling MED proceeds. LaLance is a vice president of Pinnacle Financial Partners and an investment advisor.
On March 10, Council selected four members of the community to serve on the five-member committee.
Bob Mifflin, former executive director of Christy-Houston Foundation and retired bank executive, Murfreesboro Bank and Trust.
Amy Farrar, Murfreesboro attorney, Farrar & Moore Law, focusing on trusts and estates and business law; member, Noon Rotary Club. JD cum laude, University of Mississippi.
Eric Meriwether, financial adviser, Northwestern Mutual, with experience in retail banking, financial planning, business and investment planning; Leadership Rutherford, BBA, Management, MTSU.
David “Andy” Womack, State Farm insurance agent and former State Senator, 1988-2000; Past President, Rutherford Chamber of Commerce and United Way Board Member; B.S., MTSU.
The purpose of the temporary committee is to develop recommendations to the Murfreesboro City Council on the structure and processes for management of the proceeds received from the sell in the “best long-term interests of citizens.” Recommendations will include findings, alternatives, and advice to Council on the proper decision-making and action for the formation of an independent body authorized to permanently oversee the funds. Expenditure of the funds in the future will remain solely a Council decision.
Under Resolution 21-R-07, adopted by Council Feb. 25, 2021, the City Manager, City Attorney, Financial Director, and Budget Director shall serve as non-voting, ex-officio members of the Study Group.
LaLance has previously stated that the overall goal will be to protect the $245 million asset through prudent investments that maintain principal while investing annual distributions in capital projects and public infrastructure as determined by Council.
“We appreciate the participation of the Study Group committee members to provide valuable expertise and advice on developing the best process,” said LaLance. “Those selected are well-qualified and capable of helping us think through the options and develop wise recommendations for the Council to consider.”
According to Resolution 21-R-07, “The City Council has agreed that it is in the best-long-term interests of the citizens of Murfreesboro for the proceeds of the sale to offset the cost and support the financing of public works, public infrastructure, and other public improvements; promote and support economic development and employment opportunities within the City; fund City projects and programs of other governmental or non-profit agencies and organizations that benefit and advance the general welfare of City residents, business, and visitors.”
Resolution 21-R-07 created a five-member Study Group, including one member from the City Council, to meet publicly “to consider and advise the Council on handling, disposition, and structure of the mechanisms for management of the proceeds accruing from the Sale in order to achieve the objectives” outlined by the Council.
Under the Resolution, the City Manager will convene a public meeting of the Study Group after Council’s appointment of the five members. At the first public meeting, the Group will select a chairperson from among the voting members. The Resolution calls for the Study Group to then “report progress on the findings, recommendations, and alternatives to the City Council within four months following the first meeting.” The Group automatically dissolves 30 days after presenting its findings and recommendations to a City Council meeting.