The Franklin News-Post|
P. O. Box 250
310 Main Street, SW
Rocky Mount, Virginia 24151
Monday, September 23, 2013
By CHARLES BOOTHE - Staff Writer
A plan to borrow $9.5 million for capital projects in Franklin County is moving forward.
David Rose with the county's financial advisors, Davenport & Company, told the board last week that Carter Bank & Trust came in with the best proposal to finance the bank-qualified tax-exempt bond.
"This is really an excellent result," he said, referring to the low interest rate. "We all (including county staff) agree that Carter Bank makes sense at this time."
The bond would be issued through the county's Industrial Development Authority. Carter Bank offered a 20-year loan at 3-percent interest or a 15-year loan at 2.75 percent interest.
That fixed rate is well below the estimated 4 percent, Rose said, and means a savings in interest of about $2 million for the projects from the original cost estimates.
The projects include:
•Business park development - $3 million.
•Public safety stations at Westlake and Glade Hill - $2.5 million.
•Reimbursement funding for aging facility (YMCA purchase) - $2.3 million.
•Phase I village center utility improvements at Union Hall - $500,000.
Rose said the proposal can be back in front of the board at next month's meeting for approval of financing and documents, then receive final approval from the IDA.
Closing on the loan could be held on Oct. 25, he added.
The $9.5 million in projects is part of a larger needs assessment for long-term projects discussed during a board retreat in August.
At that meeting, Rose told the board that the county is in excellent financial shape and can receive low interest rates because of its solid ratings.
The price tag for all of the projects could be around $110 million, which includes about $50 million for a new career and technical education center for the high school.
County officials have said decisions on proceeding with any other projects will be made down the road.