Park pool leaks

by Shelton on December 16th, 2014

filed under Personal Funding

With the park tax referendum having been recently rejected by county voters, the Murray-Calloway County Parks and Recreation Department has started a fundraising effort through two separate avenues.

Parks Director Tab Brockman said there are many infrastructure components that need maintenance or repair, but the top two priorities needing immediate funding are a safety inspection for the community swimming pool in Central Park and replenishing the park system’s contingency/emergency fund. The parks department has partnered with two 501(c)(3) organizations to collect donations: The Murray-Calloway County Community Foundation (MCCCF) and Red Basket, a crowd-funding charitable website powered by  Woodmen of the World Life Insurance Society.

An ad-hoc fundraising committee was formed to oversee the campaign, and the committee is co-chaired by Parks Board members Alice Rouse, a city appointee, and Magistrate Tim Todd, a county appointee. Todd said the board wants to have a professional inspection completed to ensure the pool’s safety and find exactly where its leaks are taking place before opening for the 2015 season. He said quotes from three companies had been submitted and range from $6,250 to $9,568. Brockman said the pool is 40 years old and leaks as much as 9,000 gallons a day when it is full during the summer.

Brockman said the park’s contingency fund had steadily dwindled over the last several years through a series of weather-related expenses and through repairs to the park’s aging infrastructure as they became necessary. The allocation of money from the contingency fund for any need is done after board approval, he said, adding that wintertime nearly always brings additional emergency repair needs. He said no funds are available to address any needs if they arise this winter.

Board members spoke at a press conference by the pool Tuesday about the need for donations and looked at some of the areas needing repair.

“The parks department has heard from the public — both people for and against the parks referendum — during and after the election results in November,” Rouse said in a press release. “We want to give the community the opportunity to step up to aid your parks in this crucial time.

“The community said that a property tax was not the way to move forward to solve park infrastructure and operational funding. Among those who were not in favor of the park referendum, many community members said they would support funding at a lower level than what was proposed. Many said they would be happy to provide personal funding if an eventual cutoff date was in the plan.  Others said they would gladly write a check for the same amount, but simply did not want to do so as annual tax burden.  We heard those comments and recommendations.”

MCCCF Chair Harold Hurt said the foundation will accept checks, which should be made out to Murray-Calloway County Community Foundation and noted for “Parks Temporary Fund.” They may be mailed to the park office at 900 Payne St., Murray, KY 42071 or the MCCCF at PO Box 727, Murray, KY 42071.

Todd said the Red Basket donation page would be open for 90 days at redbasket.org/305.murray-calloway-county-parks. Woodmen of the World Community Outreach Manager Angie Hatton said Red Basket is different from most other crowd-funding sites because no percentage is taken by the managing company, so 100 percent of the money donated will go to the parks system.

The committee decided to utilize both fundraising groups since Red Basket is centered more toward online giving and the Murray-Calloway Community Foundation is operated locally, the press release said.

“This is a great opportunity for our community to have convenient ways to support the parks through both of these great charitable avenues,” said Park Board Chairman Jason Lovett. “Folks who want to support through a tax-deductible donation can do so online or in person via check. And this is just in time for folks to consider helping the parks as they consider year-end giving for tax purposes.”

Krungsri Auto banks on dealerships, online channel

by Shelton on December 16th, 2014

filed under Car Lending

Ayudhya Capital Auto Lease (Krungsri Auto), a subsidiary of Bank of Ayudhya and the major player in vehicle loans, will focus more on building relationships with auto dealerships and strengthening its online channel in an effort to keep growing faster than rivals in this sector.

Pairote Cheunkrut, first executive vice president of BAY and managing director of Krungsri Auto, said that even though domestic car sales had bottomed out and used-car prices were stable, the instalment-loan market in 2015 was not expected to witness healthy growth.

We have found that consumers want to buy vehicles but they are not yet hurrying to make a decision. However, based on the assumption of 1 million car sales next year, the hire-purchase industry will grow by 6-7 per cent, compared with [this years] expected loan drop of 25 per cent, he said. That means the banking industrys total outstanding hire-purchase loans will end this year at Bt530 billion.

The new excise-tax structure for vehicles that will be effective in 2016 will have a positive impact on car sales in 2015, as consumers speed up their decisions to buy vehicles before the changes.

Vehicles with engines smaller than 1,500ccm, such as eco-cars, are expected to be more in demand because consumers can afford them.

High household debt remains a big barrier against new lending, but the governments policies on enhancing economy should reduce this problem in the new year, Pairote said.

Krungsri Autos policy is to grow faster than the market. This year, its overall lending grew by 1 per cent, attributed to use of its online channel for used-car lending, and becoming more active in the big-bike segment, a rising star this year.

We expect to end the [year with] outstanding loans of Bt228 billion, of which new cars are the major portfolio at 50 per cent, followed by used cars and refinancing at 45 per cent and the rest in motorcycles and big bikes, he said.

Krungsri Auto is the market leader in instalment loans for motorcycles with a total portfolio of Bt10 billion. He said the motorcycle market still had room to grow because many people were not accessing the financial system. Further, the big-bike segment was showing dramatic growth.

Big-bike importers are more active in bringing in new models to supply the huge demand, he said.

Pairote said Krungsri would announce its financial targets next month. The company will use two main strategies to outstrip the rest of the market, focusing on refinancing and motorcycle loans.

The first strategy is to continue using the online channel, www.krungsrimarket.com, to tap consumers in the used-car segment as this market becomes attractive again.

Krungsri Auto developed the website to help used-car dealers and individuals make transactions easily than dealing with bank branches, he said.

The company is also developing the online channel for its Car for Cash refinancing product. Refinancing will be a key driver of Krungsri Auto next year as well.

The second strategy is business partnerships for new-car loans. The company recently broadened its relationship to Honda by jointly conducting marketing campaigns.

In general, Honda will use its captive leasing to service its clients.

Pairote said Krungsri Auto would form a similar partnership with Toyota soon.

Krungsri Groups major shareholder Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ has a strong network in the corporate sector, and BTMUs value chain with auto dealerships will be a key driver of new car loans for Krungsri Auto in the near future.