More than a million dollars will be saved by refinancing county bonds, the Chairman and staff indicated at yesterday morning’s Lowndes County Commission Work Session. Congratulations! But who is this shadowy Lowndes County Public Facilities Authority that is responsible for that?
8.i. Refunding Revenue Bonds
County Manager Joe Pritchard said the county was refinancing two bond packages, for the Public Facilities Authority and for the Central Valdosta Development Authority. County Attorney Walter Elliott said the Public Facilities Authority was meeting 4PM tomorrow (now today 11 Dec 2012) to approve an ordinance similar to what the County Commission was being asked to approve Tuesday night. There’s also a purchase agreement with the underwriter, in the packet only the board gets to see. Chairman Ashley Paulk said he spoke Friday to somebody named Mr. Bucky Kensey(?) who wouldn’t tell him a number but said the bond market had moved in the county’s favor. The Chairman also said:
I want the public to understand these are not new bonds these are old bonds that are at a higher interest rate that are going to be refinanced at a lower rate, and I believe the last savings was close to a million dollars.
The Chairman indicated Mr. Kensey(?) thought there would be a pleasant surprise with even more savings than that.
At their 12 June 2012 Regular Session the Commission appointed to the Lowndes County Public Facilities Authority Joseph Stevens (they didn’t say, but maybe Joseph G Stevens CPA), Steve Gupton (presumably J. Stephen Gupton, Attorney for the Lowndes County Industrial Authority), and Lowndes County Commissioner Crawford Powell (to the seat previously held by Commissioner Richard Lee). Who are the other Authority board members? The VDT claimed “Powell abstained from the vote.” Neither he nor the Chairman said that when they voted. According to the Commission’s minutes of 25 May 2010, they appointed Harry B. Sullivan and Antonio Henderson. The VDT reported 22 May 2007 that:
The Commissioners reappointed Antonio Henderson and Harry Sullivan to the Lowndes County Public Facilities Authority. Their terms will expire May 31, 2010. Joseph Stevens was appointed, and his term will expire May 31, 2009.
So that’s five members; is that all of them? Apparently yes. In Preliminary Official Statement Dated November 29, 2012
LOWNDES COUNTY PUBLIC FACILITIES AUTHORITY (GEORGIA) $8,965,000*
Refunding Revenue Bonds
(Lowndes County Judicial/Administration Complex)
Refunding Revenue Bonds
(Lowndes County Water and Sewerage Project)
So, we’re paying more for the county palace than we are for county water and sewer. Anyway, on page 4 we find:
LOWNDES COUNTY PUBLIC FACILITIES AUTHORITY
Harry B. Sullivan
J. Stephen Gupton, Jr.
Joseph G. Stevens
That Authority met 8 October 2012 in Room 248 at the Lowndes County Administrative Building (no street address given):
The primary purpose of the meeting is for the Authority to consider a Bond Resolution to provide for the issuance of Refunding Revenue Bonds for the purpose of refunding in part Public Facilities Authority Revenue Bonds (Lowndes County Water and Sewerage Project), Series 2005, and Central Valdosta Development Authority Revenue Bonds (Lowndes County Judicial/Administrative Complex), Series 2003, to authorize and approve the execution and delivery of an Intergovernmental Contract with Lowndes County, and related purposes. The meeting will be open to the public in accordance with the Georgia Open Meetings Act.
They do not have a meeting listed in the same calendar for today.
Bond rating agency Moody’s reported 15 November 2012
NEW YORK, November 15, 2012 —Moody’s Investors Service has assigned a Aa2 rating and a stable outlook to Lowndes County’s (GA) $9.1 million Refunding Revenue Bonds (Lowndes County Judicial/Administration Complex), Series 2012 and $7.2 million Refunding Revenue Bonds (Lowndes County Water and Sewerage Project), Series 2013, both issued by the Lowndes County Public Facilities Authority. At this time, Moody’s has also affirmed the Aa2 ratings to $15.5 million of general obligation bonds and $193.7 million of bonds issued through the Hospital Authority of Valdosta and Lowndes County, the Valdosta-Lowndes County Industrial Authority, the Central Valdosta Development Authority and the Lowndes County Public Facilities Authority…
You know, the county could just tell us all this stuff, so we wouldn’t have to try to google it. It is our tax money they are spending, after all.
Here’s the video:
Refinancing Bonds and the Public Facilities Authority
Work Session, Lowndes County Commission (LCC),
Video by Gretchen Quarterman for Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange (LAKE), Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia, 10 December 2012.