If Lowndes County owed $0 (zero dollars) on the county palace in November 2010, why are we paying on $8,965,000 in bonds for it in December 2012? If that palace was “100% Paid by SPLOST” in 2010, why in 2012 is the county pledging our property tax dollars to pay those bonds?
In November 2010:
Judicial Building Cost
Administrative Building Cost
Paid by SPLOST
So says a double-page flyer about “the Lowndes County Judicial & Administrative Complex” produced by the Valdosta Daily Times for Lowndes County in 2010 and signed “Highest regards, Joe Pritchard, County Manager”. There’s no dateline, but it invites the public to a dedication of the Complex “on Friday, November 12, 2010.”
Preliminary Official Statement Dated November 20, 2012 from Morgan Keegan about the $8,965,000 in Refunding Revenue Bonds (Lowndes County Judicial/Administration Complex) Series 2012, which says this:
The Bonds are payable solely from payments to be made by Lowndes County, Georgia (the “County”) pursuant to an Intergovernmental Contract, dated as of December 1, 2012 (the “Contract”), between the Issuer and the County. Under the Contract, the County has agreed to levy and collect an annual tax on all taxable property located within the County as may be necessary to produce in each year revenues which are sufficient to make the payments required by the Contract.
So which is it?
Completely (100%) paid for by SPLOST and zero dollars ($0) balance owed, as stated by Joe Pritchard for the county in November 2010? Or almost nine million dollars ($8,965,000) in bonds, interest to be paid with property taxes, as stated by the Morgan Keegan document in November 2012?
All four current elected County Commissioners are listed in that 2012 document. All three of the elected Commissioners just voted Tuesday evening on these refinancing bonds, and Chairman Ashley Paulk recommended they do so. Crawford Powell is listed twice, once as an elected Commissioner, and once as one of the five appointed members of the Lowndes County Public Facilities Authority. Powell voted on these bonds twice, once at 4PM for that Authority, and once at the 5:30 PM Lowndes County Commission meeting. Also listed in the document as County Manager is Joe Pritchard.
Perhaps some of these elected or appointed or employed county officials could tell us what’s going on?