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 &
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.”
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.
The city of Valdosta was approved for a CWSRF loan of $18,500,000 to
finance phase two of the Mud Creek Water Pollution Control Plant
project, which includes increasing capacity from 3.2 million gallons
per day (GPD) to 5.7 million GPD, and additional improvements and
modifications to the facility. Valdosta will also design a new
solids treatment system. The city of Valdosta will pay 3 percent
interest on the 20-year loan for $18,500,000.
So why is the County of Lowndes having to float bonds?
And are bonds on the commercial
bond market really a better financial deal for the county?
More than a million dollars will be saved by refinancing county bonds,
the Chairman and staff indicated at
Lowndes County Commission Work Session.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.