Debt restructuring moves forward, RAN approved for upcoming year

The Patrick County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a resolution to move forward and restructure certain debts, using the Patrick County Veterans Memorial Building and the building that houses the Historical Society & Museum as collateral.

In a presentation before the May 28 vote, David Rose, of Davenport & Co. LLC, said “I think we all know it’s a multi-year step and process, but you’ve started to take those steps. I’ve been in this business almost 40 years and I know it’s not easy.”

Rose explained that some of the county’s assets have been used as collateral for past loans, including school properties and property of the Public Service Authority and Patrick County Jail. Some will be released as collateral when those debts are refinanced.

In a separate majority vote, the supervisors also approved pursuing the recommended an up to $3.5 million Revenue Anticipation Note for the upcoming fiscal year. Only one – Lock Boyce, of the Mayo River District – said he did not believe the note was needed and voted against the measure.

Paul Jacobson, an attorney with the Sands Anderson law firm, explained that the Skyline National Bank, as the lowest bidder, was selected for the RAN.

Although it is the same bank used for a note in the current fiscal year, Jacobson said the interest rate will be slightly higher in fiscal 2019-20.

The board approved a note for the current fiscal year, but has drawn down or spent only the required $50,000. Those funds were invested, and Sandra Stone, treasurer, has said that any gains will be used to offset interest payments when the debt is satisfied.

Jacobson and Rose also met with the Patrick Country Economic Development Authority, which also approved the resolutions to restructure the debt.

The board also:

*Approved a request from Sandra Belcher, director of tourism, to renew the county’s contract with the Virginia Department of Transportation for the Meadows of Dan Sidewalk and Trail project. The total estimated cost of the project is $916,050, which includes Transportation Alternatives funds of $732,840 and a local match of $132,210. Belcher explained that part of the local match will include volunteer hours, easements, land donations and the like. She also said funds for the project are not yet approved, but the resigning will allow the proposal to move forward.

*Approved hiring Brightminds LLC for the upcoming reassessment. At $233,049, the company was low bidder on the project. The expense will be split between the current and the upcoming fiscal year.

*Approved an additional appropriation of $174,226 for the CSA program. The funds were previously approved, but had not been appropriated.

*Karl Weiss, of the Blue Ridge District, said the county is losing some committee members because there is no reimbursement for meals or traveling. Geri Hazelwood, acting county administrator, will report on the issue at an upcoming meeting.

*Heard public comment from Steve Terry, who discussed some of the Broadband Committee’s efforts as well as a recent health scare. (Refer to Terry’s letter.)

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