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Halifax County supes delay Prizery loan payment 45 days / September 05, 2013
Halifax County has extended the due date for repayment of a $60,000 loan made last year to The Prizery by 45 days.

The Board of Supervisors took the action Tuesday night after debating a proposal put forth by The Prizery to repay $10,000 this September and the rest of the loan in five annual installments of $10,000, to be made each September through 2018.

The board agreed to the 45-day respite to allow more time to consider The Prizery’s request.

Finance Chairman Doug Bowman, who was tapped to serve as the county’s representative on The Prizery board — a condition of the loan — asked fellow supervisors to accept the repayment proposal. Bowman said The Prizery has made great progress in getting its finances in order, with capable business people overseeing the financial operations of the downtown performing arts center. Bowman said The Prizery board has worked hard to straighten out complex historic tax credits that are an important part of its financing.

“I think we need to give them time to turn around their operation,” Bowman said.

“We have put a lot of money into this facility,” chimed in ED#8 Supervisor Bryant Claiborne, “and to turn our backs on them at this time would be detrimental to them. The culture they offer to this community is very attractive to [economic development] prospects.”

However, not all board members were happy with the idea of The Prizery not repaying the entire loan by the due date. “There are a lot of people who would like to see all that money repaid now,” said ED#5 Supervisor Barry Bank. “They promised to pay the money back this September and to not ask for any more. They also promised to communicate to us about their activities and we’ve had no communications up to this time. I have thought a lot about charging them interest” — which the county is currently not doing, noted Bank.

With some 3,000 patrons, The Prizery should ask each to put up an additional $20 — enough to repay the loan, Bank added.

ED#1 Supervisor J. T. Davis said supervisors have “a balancing act” on their hands and must weigh the value of The Prizery to the community against the $60,000 in revenue anticipated in the current fiscal year budget from repayment of the loan. If the full $60,000 is not repaid, cuts will have to made elsewhere to keep the budget balanced, Davis suggested.

Davis made a motion to move the due date of the loan back by 45 days to give the Board time to decide on a plan of action. His motion passed on a 7-1 vote. Bank cast the only negative vote.

In other business on Tuesday, supervisors approved a moral obligation pledge to support the IDA’s refinancing of the $7.65 million ABB debt. The Board’s pledge was necessary for the IDA to obtain the favorable refinancing interest rate of 4.81 percent, compared to the 5.81 percent rate the IDA is currently paying. The difference means a savings of some $500,000 over the life of the loan.

Supervisors also heard a report on the status of a $12,500 planning grant that Leah Brown of the Ag Department is seeking for construction of a meat processing plant in Halifax County. Brown said Virginia Fairs, which is heading up the study, should have it finalized by April 1 and that she cannot move forward with the project until their work is completed.

County Administrator Jim Halasz reported that the local animal shelter underwent an unannounced inspection by state animal control officials in mid-June and received a good report. “They came out with flying colors,” Halasz said.

John Cannon of the anti-uranium Virginia Coalition appeared before the Board to thank supervisors for their $10,000 donation last year to help preserve the ban on uranium mining in Virginia. Cannon said the Coalition is continuing its fight against uranium mining and once more needs Halifax County’s financial support. Cannon said the Coalition needs overall to raise $150,000 to continue its lobbying efforts in Richmond against uranium mining. Board members asked the County Administrator to put the matter on the agenda for their October meeting.

Supervisors also set a public hearing in October to consider a request by Willie T. Francis, Jr. in ED#6 to relocate his Backwoods Body Shop to a new site at 7077 Pleasant Grove Road, Halifax. The public hearing

The Board also re-appointed members — Doug Bowman, Rev. Kevin Chandler, William E. Coleman, J. T. Davis, Jim Halasz, Mike Sexton and Tom West to the Lake Country Development Corporation. They also named Supervisor Barry Bank to replace Bill Fitzgerald on the agency board.

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"...with some 3,000 patrons, The Prizery should ask each to put up an additional $20 — enough to repay the loan, Bank added... Bank cast the only negative vote..."

Then, Mr Bank, I challenge YOU to put your money where your mouth is and pony up your own $20. Lead by example, not by hot air. Otherwise why did we elect you?

Neither do I see any of our esteemed BoS beating the drum for repayment of the $10k gift to the anti-uranium Virginia Coalition. Oh yeah- that was a "donation". I didn't like the sound of that money changing hands either, since as some say of the Prizery, "I don't agree with supporting that with taxpayer money".

I've honored my yearly pledge to The Prizery and then some. But they'll get another donation before year's end. I'm irritated enough by Mr Banks' arrogance that I'll probably write the check tonight.


“They promised to pay the money back this September and to not ask for any more." Somebody lied. Watch out Prizery. You may soon have a hotel to compete with.


Well why don't you just go ahead and write a check for the whole $60,000.00. Or maybe its just your mouth and not your bank account that's a powerhouse.


How much mold could you clean up for $60,000?


Grants? That only describes the second half of the transaction. In order to grant it, money had to first be taken from taxpayers. Redistribution would be a more accurate description.


“and to turn our backs on them at this time would be detrimental to them." Is that kind of like too big to fail?


Maybe when we are paying our tax in December we can pay 1/5 and stretch the remaining balance out over five years. Sounds like a plan to me! I said it before and I will say it again, this money should have been given to the school system to help with the education of our young people. Maybe if you aren't interested in educating them, at least you could have helped clean up the mold with that $60,000 had you kept it instead of giving it away to some place that obviously isn't going to pay it back AS PROMISED.


"John Cannon of the anti-uranium Virginia Coalition appeared before the Board to thank supervisors for their $10,000 donation last year to help preserve the ban on uranium mining in Virginia." Government using taxpayer money to prevent uranium mining when it's government who decides if uranium mining is allowed or disallowed. Isn't that kind of like the telephone company selling caller id to some folks and then selling caller id block to others?


The taxpayers of Halifax County built ABB, a multinational corporation with global revenue of $40 billion for 2011, a new building costing over $10.2 million. $10 million is approximately the cost of our courthouse rennovation. How about you leaders on the board of supervisors figure out how to get ABB to pay for our courthouse rennovation. I think they can afford it.


WOW, they got me on the loan extension, I thought that they would just forgive it to the Prizery. And hey, Halifax County BOS did not give any money to fight uranium mining to a lobbying agency, ILLEGAL!!!!!! I know our BOS would not try to skirt a law!!!! Our BOS is a disgrace! Just raise property taxes, that's the answer every time. JUST KICK ALL OF THE BUMS OUT.


Fighting for those dollars. They are just like everybody else trying to get that cream. I got to get mine before you get yours.


The prizery needs to repay this now! the county should not give anymore money to the prizery, have never been, will never go. Thanks Mr. Bank for haveing to courage to vote against it. The money give to anti-uranium is well spent, but the money to the prizery is a waste.


Somebody brought ABB up. ABB is paying their loan back over the next several years. Plus ABB generates thousands of dollars in tax and payroll. Step off! If we had several more ABB type businesses in the county we might be able to afford these pet projects. Until we get more industry or get the farms back in business I think the county will just get poorer and poorer.


"The Board’s pledge was necessary for the IDA to obtain the favorable refinancing interest rate of 4.81 percent, compared to the 5.81 percent rate the IDA is currently paying." If the IDA is paying for the loan then the taxpayers are paying, not ABB. You scared to go there? Don't be scared of the truth. ABB is a financial lifeline for this area but not immune to criticism. Remember back when the warmongers were trumping up war with North Korea over nuclear missiles. Guess who received a $200 million dollar contract in January 2000 to build nuclear reactors in North Korea. That's right Asea Brown Boveri. Our very own Donald Rumsfeld was executive director presiding over the contracts at that time. Real patriots.


And at the time Rumsfeld was said to be a huge fan of the Wu Tang Clan. He was frequently overheard singing the lyrics to C.R.E.A.M at board meetings.


Wow, spendit- people accused me of being too willing to spend other peoples' money. The IRS has some limitations on amounts you can give in a tax year, if you didn't know.

I mailed the check today, so The Prizery is getting support above and beyond what I normally do for them. I'm sure they appreciate y'all irritating me to that point.

The hatred some County residents harbor toward The Prizery astonishes me, but I'd bet the amount I just sent them the Prizery-haters pay $100 or more a month for satellite TV and watch every trash reality show Discovery and History channels can dish up.

Re uranium- they've processed the stuff in Lynchburg for 40+ years, and it's under your feet emitting radiation if you live anywhere near the proposed mine. It's here, it's not going away, deal with it.


"How much mold could you clean up for $60,000?"

Mold wouldn't even be an issue if the school system had kept the roofs repaired and the ventilation systems operating properly over summer. Surely someone in HCPS maintenance/buildings realised this summer was abnormally wet and humid?


Giving money to organizations you choose to support. Isn't freedom wonderful. Uranium is already here. Let's dig some up. Arsenic occurs naturally in some of the foods we eat. Have a tablespoon of it.


You may be limited in the tax deduction for gifts to charities but you are most certainly not limited in the amount you give. Government does not have that authority yet if you didn't know. So if that is what was holding you back the Prizery is still waiting for their $60,000.


Q: How much money will the county loose out of the $60,000 it loaned the Prizery?
A: None, as long as powermouth writes a check for $60,000 because the Prizery sure does't have it.

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