The Henry County
Board of Commissioners held a Called Public Meeting at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday,
September 8, 2009, in Conference Room B,
Warren E. Holder, District I Commissioner
Randy Stamey, District III Commissioner
Reid A. Bowman, Vice-Chairman, District IV Commissioner
Johnny B. Basler, District V Commissioner
Not Present was:
Rick Jeffares, District II Commissioner
Also attending were Shay
Mathis, County Clerk; LaTonya Nix-Wiley, County Attorney; Phyllis Shrader,
Interim County Manager; Michael Sabine, Assistant County Manager; Mike Bush, Finance Director;
(NOTE: Audio of this
meeting is available with the
Chairman Mathis called the
meeting to order and called an acceptance of the agenda. Commissioner Bowman made the motion to accept the agenda with the
addition of a request to purchase a used lo-boy;
Request to purchase a lo-boy for the Department of Transportation
The equipment to be purchased is a 2007 TH 55 Fontaine Specialized MFLD 26 lo-boy with no repairs needed. A new 55 ton trailer would cost approximately $55,000 to $65,000.
Discussion regarding Stimulus Money for Bond Funds
Jim Monacell, Esq., Smith, Gambrell & Russell, LLP and Bond Counsel for the County presented the agenda item to the Board. The discussion is regarding the Recovery Zone Program under the Stimulus Act. The President signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Tax Act of 2009, as part of the economic stimulus recover package (the “Stimulus”). The Stimulus law has significant effects on bonds affecting economic development. The program is temporary and effects bonds issued in 2009 and 2010. The legislation authorizes the County to designate recovery zones and to allow bonds to be issued in two different categories, Economic Development Bonds for County projects and Facility Bonds for private activity projects. Any of the bonds have to be located within what the County has designated as recovery zones or it can be outside of the zone if it has a significant impact on a recovery zone. Recovery zones can include any area designated as having significant poverty, unemployment, high rate of home foreclosures and general distress. The Board can designate any number of zones within the County. Zones can be determined in any reasonable manner determined in good faith.
Economic Development Bonds for county projects are taxable bonds called Build America Bonds. This means they carry a 45% tax credit. There are two ways this can be handled by the county; sell the bonds to investors who receive a tax credit or retain the credit and receive a wire from the Federal Treasury every six months before paying the interest on the debt (the Treasury would basically be paying 45% of the county’s interest cost with the county paying the other 55%). Any capital expenditures for governmental property inside a Recovery Zone are allowable if there is private economic activity or development. County projects can consist of public infrastructure or facilities outside of a Recovery Zone if they promote economic activity or development inside the Zone. Expenditures must have been made after February 17, 2009 and “Declaration of Official Intent” rules apply.
Facility Bonds has to finance property that is used by a private business in a Recovery Zone. When this type of debt is issued, just like anything else the Development Authority does, it doesn’t bind the Authority or the County but the borrowers that are using the bonds have to repay that facility bonds. Any type of property may be funded (except for residential property, golf courses, country clubs, massage parlors, hot-tub facilities suntan facilities, racetracks, gambling facilities and liquor stores). It needs to be either new property or property that will be renovated by the private business. The property must be acquired after the designation as a Recovery Zone.
Zone Bonds must be issued during 2009 and 2010.
The County will need to identify projects, and designate the Zones that are impacted by those projects.
Commissioner Holder asked if the municipalities were included in this program or is the funding given to the County and disseminated. Mr. Monacell stated there is a certain amount that can be done for the entire Country and when it was decided how to divvy it up, it was divided County by County. The Cities didn’t receive any specific allocation of their own. If there is a city project, they would need to contact the County.
Chairman Mathis stated staff had discussed how the bonds can be beneficial to the County. Mike Bush, Finance Director discussed the Economic Development Bonds. There are some projects that the economic bonds could be used for. Mr. Bush stated he had a bank to run some numbers and the current tax exempt interest rate was 4.31%. The current non-tax exempt interest rate was 5.35%. The Build America Bonds, the county would pay 55% of the 5.35% or we would be paying 2.95% interest which is better than the tax exempt bonds.
is $9,440,000.00 available in RZ Economic Development Bonds. Staff listed four projects that are on the
current SPLOST List: 1)
As the buildings come on-line the Board should be aware of operational cost for the buildings.
Clark Rainer, Technology Services Director addressed the Board regarding the Facility Bonds. If a private company would like to build something such as the 130 mile fiber network, the county could lease it back from that company over a period of time. This would not be considered a government project; a private company would come in and build it. They would have certain profit margins built in and employ, hopefully, local residents to work on the project as they build it out and operate it for a number of years.
Mr. Bob White, Development Authority Executive Director was present and stated the Development Authority will be contributing $6,000 of their stimulus money that comes from the EMC’s for the last several years (unclaimed capital credits) toward the feasibility study.
Mr. Rainer discussed with the Board the scope of services and terms of engagement as proposed by Rural Broadband, LLC.
Chairman Mathis asked if other governmental entities had agreed to contribute to the project. Mr. Rainer stated there were discussions with the Water & Sewer Authority but nothing had been finalized. No other entity has agreed to contribute.
Holder asked about the Cities contributing.
Mr. Rainer stated there were meetings with the City of
Basler asked if
Continuation of the Request to purchase a lo-boy for the Department of Transportation
Mr. McMickle stated the 2007 Fontaine is a 55-ton used piece of equipment. The cost was $42,500 and staff was able to negotiate the cost down to $40,000. There was also a quote for a new 51-ton Fontaine for $50,000 and a new 55-ton Fontaine would cost between $55,000 and $57,000. There was a quote of $48, 500 for a 55-ton Dynowell. The dealer did not recommend this equipment for city or county use. There was also a quote for a 55-ton Lydell for a cost between $60,000 and $65,000. The source of the funds to purchase the equipment is through savings in the lease purchase account.
WHEREAS, the trailer frame has cracked or broken five times since January 2009; and
WHEREAS, TM Trailer Sales, Inc. has in stock one used 2007 TH 55 Fontaine Specialized MFLD 26 55 ton 26’ Lo-boy in the amount of $40,000.00; and
WHEREAS, a new 55 ton 26’ lo-boy trailer ranges in price from $55,000.00 to $65,000.00
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Henry County Board of Commissioners approve the purchase of one used 2007 TH 55 Fontaine Specialized MFLD 26 55 ton 26’ lo-boy trailer in the amount of $40,000.00. Funds are available in the Lease Purchase Fund.
Mrs. Julie Hoover-Ernst discussed the Board’s workshop meetings that were being held in Conference Room B. There were concerns regarding the meetings not being televised. The options are to continue in Conference Room B with a single camera, move back to the Community Room with tables set up in the middle, have the meeting the way it’s always been done or continue in Conference Room B with no video.
The consensus of the Board was to move the workshop meeting back to the Community Room.