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Halifax County IDA signs off on loans for office renovations
SoVaNow.com / March 24, 2014Members of the Halifax County Industrial Development Authority (IDA) on Friday signed off on three loan agreements to pay for renovations and expansions to county office buildings.
The loan agreements, negotiated by Davenport & Company, had been presented to and approved by county supervisors on Monday night.
As the borrower of record, the IDA’s approval was needed to allow the loan agreements to go forward.
Halifax County has agreed to borrow money from Carter Bank & Trust Company after the bank submitted the winning bid in response to an advertisement for proposals. Carter’s package offered the lowest interest rate as well as opportunities for early repayment without penalty.
Carter will make a $445,000 loan to refinance the county’s General Obligation loan — money originally borrowed in 1992 to cover the cost of renovations to the Mary Bethune Complex. The package comes with an interest rate of 2.10 percent over an eight-year period.
A second loan, this one for $2,775,000, will be used to underwrite the cost of renovating the Sheriff’s Department, which is set to move into the office building now occupied by the County Administration and Planning office. The loan also will be used to overhaul the Industrial Arts building at the Mary Bethune Complex. That building will be used on an interim basis as a court facility while work takes place at the Halifax Courthouse.
Once the Courthouse project is complete and courtrooms are relocated back in the building, the Industrial Arts building will become the permanent home of the County Administration and Planning offices.
The $2,775,000 loan carries a 20-year repayment schedule with interest set at 3.25 percent.
The third loan, a Public Facilities Lease Revenue Refunding Note, is for $680,000, which will be repaid over an eight-year period at an interest rate of 2.10 percent.
County Administrator Jim Halasz, who attended Friday morning’s IDA meeting, assured IDA members that the county government will pay all legal expenses and thanked them for their support of the financing proposals.
He described the IDA’s role as being “a flow through” for the county, saying that taxpayers will benefit by virtue of the IDA being able to obtain financing at a lower rate than the market might offer.
Under the tax-exempt Compliance Act, the IDA can issue no more than $10,000,000 of tax exempt notes in each year, but bond attorney Sam Darby explained that three notes will only total $3,910,000, leaving some $6 million uncommitted should the IDA need to borrow money for prospective ventures.
In other business on Friday morning, IDA directors approved a 20-year renewal lease with Bohler-Uddeholm with the same conditions that have been in effect for the previous 20-year lease. The company first came to South Boston in April 1974 as Teledyne, Inc., before being taken over by Bohler-Uddeholm Specialty Metals.
The IDA directors also heard from Dr. Doug Corrigan, who reported that the response from prospective C-CARE partners has not been sufficient and he plans to make his proposal more attractive to prospects. Corrigan heads up the coatings center at the Southern Virginia Technology Park, formerly Riverstone.
Corrigan said he wants to attract some six to eight large companies to use the local lab. Several well-recognized companies are interested, he told directors.
Also, IDA Executive Director Matt Leonard said the search for an administrative assistant is continuing with 38 applicants for the position. Leonard said interviews are being conducted and he expects to hire someone in April.
Leonard was also authorized to execute a contract with Baskerville and B&B for Phase III renovations to the Southern Virginia Advanced Manufacturing Center (the old Daystrom facility). IDA members were also advised that the Feb. 24 meeting with Dominion Power and local residents to establish a western power feed to the Southern Virginia Technology Park had been well attended and the IDA is now awaiting a presentation from Dominion before finalizing a decision.
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