03/20/17 — Board to consider $42 million in bond sales

View Archive

Board to consider $42 million in bond sales

By Steve Herring
Published in News on March 20, 2017 9:57 AM

Approval to pursue more than $42 million in bond sales will be before Wayne County commissioners when they meet Tuesday morning.

The sale requires a public hearing, but not a public vote.

Repayment of the bonds will not require a tax increase, County Manager George Wood said.

The new Meadow Lane Elementary School and its Edgewood Community Developmental School wing and the Maxwell Regional Agricultural and Convention Center account for slightly more than $32 million of the $42,368,473 in 20-year limited obligation bonds.

It includes $20 million for the school and $12,042,604 for the agricultural and convention center.

The remainder is divided among several other projects:

* $2,615,869 for a sewer line between Grantham Middle School and the county landfill at Dudley.

* $610,000 for an information technology project for the public safety offices fiber optic loop and extension to the Maxwell Regional Agricultural and Convention Center.

* $1.3 million for software for the Sheriff's Office, dispatchers, 911, EMS and the jail.

* $2.22 million for the Canterbury Village street repairs. This will be repaid by residents of the subdivision through a special property tax levy.

* $3.2 million for a new gym and six classrooms at Southern Wayne High School.

* $400,000 to install HVAC systems in three middle school gyms.

Tuesday's meeting will get underway with an 8 a.m. agenda briefing followed by the formal session at 9 a.m. Both will be held in the commissioners' meeting room on the fourth floor of the Wayne County Courthouse Annex.

Commissioners will be asked to authorize Wood and Finance Director Allison Speight to pursue a negotiated bond sale for the $42,368,473.

There are two ways to issue bonds, Wood said. One is through a competitive sale procedure, the other is through negotiations.

Davenport, the county's financial advisors, is recommending the negotiated sale. Wood said he agrees that is how the county should proceed.

At the board's April 4 session, commissioners will be asked to schedule a public hearing on the bond sale for their April 18 meeting.

"What this is Tuesday, I just want them to make the decision so that our financial advisor can move forward with the LGC (Local Government Commission)," Wood said. "We need to determine do we do negotiated or competitive bidding, and we are recommending negotiated.

"If they (commissioners) make that decision Tuesday then Davenport can finish up with the LGC. We had a meeting in Raleigh with the LGC this week. They have approved all of this, but the one thing left to determine is which method are we going to use."

The main difference is that negotiates sale is a little quicker, Wood said.

"As far as the (interest) rate that we pay, I don' think their will be much of a difference if any," Wood.

The plan is to sell the bonds by mid-June, he said.

The buildings will be used as collateral.

Overall, the county's debt is low, and will be lower by millions of dollars within the next few years, Wood said.

"The good thing is that because the debt service payments are declining, we will not have to raise taxes to pay for these (projects)," he said.