Florence City Council OKs bond notes for project

November 14, 2018

FLORENCE, S.C. – The Florence City Council took another step toward a $57 million economic development project Tuesday afternoon.

At its monthly meeting, upon motion by Mayor Pro Tempore Frank J. “Buddy” Brand and seconds by Councilmen George Jebaily and Glynn Willis, the council approved upon second reading Bill No. 2018-34. The bill provides for the issuing and sale of two bond anticipation loans, a $2.9 million loan and a $4.2 million tax-free note.

The funds raised from the bond issue will be used to offset the costs associated with an economic development project that is expected to result in a $40 million private investment and a $17 million investment by the city. According to information provided to the council, the funds will be used to offset property acquisitions, parking, building demolition, and streetscape additions and improvements.

The city has not yet specified the nature of the economic development project.

Loans like those the city is using are commonly used by cities and towns to provide short-term funding ahead of a major bond issue. In finance, short-term is commonly used to mean anything less than one year. Once the city issues the bonds, it will use some of the funds generated to pay back the bond anticipation loans. The bonds are expected to be backed by the city’s ability to tax its residents and it is hoped that additional financing from the city’s downtown redevelopment district will eventually defray some of the costs.

The council unanimously passed the resolution, 7-0.

The city’s bond attorney, Charlton DeSaussure Jr,, also told the council that seven financial institutions had submitted bids to handle the loan. BB&T, Capital One, First Citizens, Key Government Finance, PNC, Sterling National, and Zions Bank were companies submitting bids.

The council awarded the $2.9 million loan to BB&T at a fixed rate of 3.49 percent interest. The council awarded the $4.2 million loan to First Citizens at an interest rate of 2.67 percent.

Both loans have a payback date of Dec. 2, 2019, with no prepayment penalty and no bank-required legal fees.

By city code, the council must hold two readings of each ordinance. The city held the first reading of Bill No. 2018-34 at its October meeting.

In other action Tuesday, the council also:

>> Recognized Teresa Simons of the Public Works department for 30 years of service, Nelson Lee of the Public Works department for 20 years of service, and Helen Bryant of the police department for 15 years of service.

>> Received an update on the activities of the local Boy Scout organizations from Michael Hesback.

>> Received an update from the Small Business Administration regarding its disaster-assistance services.

>> Deferred the proposed annexation of eight properties and a portion of a ninth property along Lake Oakdale.

>> Approved upon second reading an ordinance amending the city’s development code.

>> Approved upon second reading an ordinance annexing property at 2481 Parsons Gate.

>> Approved upon first reading an ordinance annexing property along Haven Straits Road.

>> Approved upon first reading an ordinance annexing property along Green Acres Road.

>> Approved upon first reading an ordinance rezoning property at 109 E. Thorncliff Road.

>> Approved the appointment of three people to the city’s Housing Authority Board.

>> Deferred the appointment of a person to replace Scott Kozacki on the city’s Zoning Appeals Board.

>> Approved a resolution designating Dec. 7 as Arbor Day in the city.

>> Approved a resolution thanking High Point Sofa Factory for its efforts in helping the city sell homes it constructed for neighborhood redevelopment.

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