Murfreesboro Community Investment Task Force Meets to Discuss Use of MED Revenues

The Murfreesboro Community Investment Task Force will hold its first public meeting to begin developing recommendations on how best to manage MED revenue received by the city from the sale of electric service. The Committee will meet at the Municipal Airport Business Center, 1930 Memorial Blvd. at 4 p.m., Wednesday, April 7. The city sold its electrical distribution system operations and assets to Middle Tennessee Electric Membership Corporation (MTEMC) for $245 million, including $43 million paid at closing and annual installments of $17,290,134 paid over a period of 15 years with interest totaling nearly $302.4 million.

Council appointed Murfreesboro Councilman Rick LaLance on February 25 to serve on the Community Investment Task Force to provide advice on the management of MED products. LaLance is vice president of Pinnacle Financial Partners and an investment advisor.

On March 10, Council selected four community members to serve on the five-member committee.

  • Bob Mifflin, former executive director of the Christy-Houston Foundation and retired bank manager, Murfreesboro Bank and Trust.
  • Amy Farrar, attorney at Murfreesboro, Farrar & Moore Law, specializing in trusts, estates and business law; member, Noon Rotary Club. JD cum laude, University of Mississippi.
  • Eric Meriwether, Financial Advisor, Northwestern Mutual, with experience in retail banking, financial planning, business and investment planning; Executive Rutherford, BBA, Management, MTSU.
  • David “Andy” Womack, State Farm insurance agent and former state senator, 1988-2000; former President of the Rutherford Chamber of Commerce and United Way Board Member; BS, MTSU.

The purpose of the temporary committee is to develop recommendations to the Murfreesboro City Council on the structure and processes for managing the sale proceeds in the “best long-term interest of the citizens.” The recommendations will include conclusions, alternatives and advice to the Board on appropriate decision-making and action for the formation of an independent body authorized to oversee the funds on an ongoing basis. The use of the funds in the future will remain solely a decision of the Board.

Pursuant to Resolution 21-R-07, passed by Council on February 25, 2021, the City Manager, City Attorney, Chief Financial Officer and Director of Budget will be ex-officio non-voting members of the Study Group .

LaLance has previously stated that the overall goal will be to protect the $245 million in assets through prudent investments that maintain capital while investing annual distributions in capital projects and public infrastructure, as determined by the board.

“We appreciate the participation of the task force committee members to provide valuable expertise and guidance on developing the best process,” LaLance said. “The individuals selected are well qualified and able to help us think through options and develop sound recommendations for the Board’s consideration.”

According to Resolution 21-R-07, “City Council has agreed that it is in the long-term interest of the citizens of Murfreesboro that the proceeds from the sale offset the cost and support the funding of public works, infrastructure and other public improvements; promote and support economic development and employment opportunities within the City; fund City projects and programs from other government or non-profit agencies and organizations that benefit and advance well-being general of residents, businesses and visitors to the City.”

Resolution 21-R-07 established a five-member task force, including one member of city council, to meet publicly “to review and advise council on the management, layout and structure of the mechanisms management of proceeds from the Sale with a view to achieving the objectives” defined by the Board.

Under the resolution, the city manager will convene a public meeting of the task force after council has appointed the five members. At the first public meeting, the Group will appoint a chair from among the voting members. The resolution calls on the study group to “report progress on findings, recommendations and alternatives to city council within four months of the first meeting.” The group automatically dissolves 30 days after presenting its findings and recommendations at a meeting of the municipal council.

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Jill E. Washington