By. Bryan Rothamel, Field Officer
The Fluvanna County Board of Supervisors approved debt financing plan for Zion Crossroads water project at the April 19th meeting.
The project doesn’t have final design or numbers yet, but the possible funding source will be the Virginia Resource Authority (VRA).
The supervisors approved applying in the summer bond pool with the VRA. The application will be for $10 million, the latest estimated cost of the project. The deadline for the application is May 1.
The county should get a final design and cost in the next month. At that time, the supervisors can decide how much financing they want to use and amend the application. The county administrator recommends putting $4 million from the county’s cash balance to the project.
In regards to current county debt, the high school bonds have a window of about 100 days in the fourth quarter 2018 where $57 million can be reinvested. The county has two known options.
One option is to issue a ‘float agreement’ where the county contracts with an investment firm now at a locked in amount. The investment firm gives the county a set amount now with the hopes the firm can invest that money for a better return when the window opens.
If the county issued a float agreement right now, it is estimated it would bring in a $74,000 immediate payout. They could also ask for a specific amount and once a bid comes in at that price, accept it. The county can issue the float agreement at any time but as the window nears, firms will be less like to ‘bet’ high.
A second option is to purchase a state and local government series (SLGS) when the 100 day period occurs. The only issue is the SLGS are sometimes blocked to be purchased. Two years ago SLGS were not allowed to be purchased for most of the year.
Supervisors directed staff to ask more questions about possibilities to Raymond James, the county’s financial adviser.
At April 12th meeting, the supervisors approved the FY18 budget and tax rates on a 4-1 with Don Weaver (Cunningham District) dissenting.
The real estate tax rate is set at $0.907 per $100 assessed. The personal property stayed at $4.35 per $100. The business rates decreased in an effort to help local businesses.
Late changes to the budget included giving staff a 2 percent raise to start January 1, increasing the budget for county attorney, additional funds for the Sheriff’s Office and Earth Day hazardous waste collection. The supervisors also are using cash to purchase a new brush truck for emergency services.
More public was present at the meeting but overall the budget season had few county residents active in the process.
The supervisors will next meet on May 3 at 4 p.m. for a regular session. A work session on county projects, including the Zion Crossroads water project, is expected before the May 17 meeting.
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