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Commissioners approve resolution for financing
Nash County Commissioners took the final step in moving forward with funding for capital projects last week, approving an agreement for funding not to exceed $32 million. The exact figures will not be known until March 17 but commissioners expect the final figure to be around the $29.5 million mark.

Those figures do not include renovations to Middlesex Elementary School, which is being funded through the USDA. Including the Middlesex Elementary School project, the total cost of all proposed capital projects equals around $51 million.

Ted Cole of Davenport & Company, Inc. came before commissioners on Thursday, February 25 with a resolution approving documents and agreements related to financing of the new Rocky Mount High School, a new field house at Southern Nash High School, a county emergency medical services building and a new storage facility.

The agreement sets a principal amount not to exceed $32 million and a true interest cost not to exceed 5.25 percent. However, Cole said they expected the true figures to be lower in both categories.

Cole told commissioners they were working towards providing the county with a net funding of $43.3 million. However, the county is putting up $14.2 million up front as a cash contribution. Those funds will come from ADM and lottery funds as well as Edgecombe County. So in the end, Cole said commissioners would need $29.1 million.

“At the end of the day that’s what you need after all costs have been paid and everything else has been accounted for,” Cole said. “That is going to be, throughout this process, the one guiding target, or principle we have. We don’t want to provide you with any more or any less than that. That is your final project fund deposit.

The exact figures, however, are not known because Davenport is still working on all the costs associated with bond insurance. Cole said the county would only use bond insurance if it’s an economic advantage. If it is needed, Cole said it could mean an additional cost figured into the numbers. The interest rate will be finalized on March 17 and that could affect the final figures as well.

“These are not set in stone by any means,” Cole said. “They are preliminary.”

Commissioner Chair Robbie Davis and Commissioner Wayne Outlaw questioned why the resolution had to say $32 million when all the county needed was $29 million.

“I do have a problem with the $32 million when all along, every number I’ve been given adds up to $29.5 million,” Davis said. “If the number was $29.5, $30 million I could feel good about it. I’ve had quite a bit of uncomfort level with this whole process. We get numbers, they are always shifting around. I can’t help to think this is somewhat done on purpose to confuse us.”

Cole said the county needed some flexibility to get the $29 million needed in the most cost effective and efficient way.

“At the end of the day if you were to sell the bonds and it looked like this you would owe $28.2 million,” Cole said.

Outlaw questioned why the board couldn’t wait two weeks to approve the resolution, when the numbers would be more finalized.

“I just don’t understand why again we would borrow up to $32 (million) when we don’t need but $30 (million),” Outlaw said.

Cole said once the board approves the resolution, it has to be approved by the Local Government Commission (LGC) and then the documents have to be released to the investment world before finally proceeding with bond pricing on March 17. Commissioners could choose to delay approving the resolution but the bonds couldn’t be sold until the resolution is approved.

“That’s the only reason we’re asking for action today,” Cole said.

Commissioner Fred Belfield made a motion to accept the resolution as stated. Commissioners unanimously approved the resolution.

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