Cathy Dyson writes about King George County. You can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
More for their money
King George supervisors decided to look into two financial issues that might save the county hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The board gave its financial advisor, Davenport & Co., permission to apply for a loan called Qualified School construction Bonds, which has the unpleasant acronym of Q-SCaBs. The loans are part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, or Stimulus Act, and can be used for school construction projects.
The federal government is offering Virginia localities more than $202 million in loans, at no interest. The governor’s office hasn’t released details on how that money will be divvied up, but Davenport officials suggested the county be ready with its paperwork.
“Counties across the state are going to be lining up for this,” said Kyle Laux, a vice president with Davenport. “We just want to make sure we take advantage of once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”
If the county got a Q-SCaB loan, it probably would use the money for renovations at Potomac Elementary School and the school-bus garage, said Chairman Dale Sisson.
On another financial note, the supervisors also gave Davenport permission to research refinancing a current debt.
The county still owes $2 million on a bond issued in 2005 to build Sealston Elementary School. Payment on that bond is supposed to go up in 2012 and the additional expense would require a one-cent increase on the tax rate the next two years, Laux said. By getting a better rate through refinancing, the county could even out its payments without the big bump, he said.
The county would pay about $60,000 in legal and financial fees for the refinancing. If it works as Laux expects, the move would free up $530,000.
Supervisors gave Davenport permission to research the market and see what rates might be available. Laux will report those back to the board on July 20.