City Council approves loan package for WPCP expansion

City Council

PICKENS COUNTY, Ga. — The Jasper City Council held a special called meeting on June 29, 2022 to approve a USDA Rural Development loan package that will allow the city to move forward with their Water Pollution Control Plant expansion project.

During June’s council meeting, Assistant City Manager Kim Goldener explained that bids for the Water Pollution Control Plant expansion project came back unexpectedly high, leaving the city in need of over $11 million in additional funding. Goldener also told the council that reapplication for further funding from the USDA would be necessary. The urgency of that reapplication was also stressed because interest rates were set to change after July 1, 2022.

On June 29, 2022, Mayor Steve Lawrence noted the council was meeting in “emergency circumstances” to approve the new loan package, which would “allow the city to lock in a lower interest rate for the additional funding before rates change on July 1, 2022, and allow the city to continue to provide this service.”

Kim Goldener discusses loan package

Goldener discussed the USDA RD loan package with the council.

“I am pleased to announce they were able to provide us additional funding,” Goldener said while speaking to the council and representatives from the USDA. She shared that the city will receive two more loans from the USDA, totaling $10,879,000. Goldener explained that there is a $10 million limit on USDA loans, so the additional funding is divided into two loans of $9 million and $1,879,000. She then noted that the two new loans will bring the city to a total of three for the project and “will require three bond issuances.”

“Should council decide to proceed with this,” Goldener said, “there are some documents USDA will need this evening in order to obligate funds in time to meet that before July 1 deadline when rates change.” Those documents include two new requests for obligations of funds, the execution of a loan resolution for each loan, and a letter of intent to meet the loan conditions, according to Goldener.

Goldener also discussed the payment of the loans: “With all three loans we’re looking at $43,112 a month. We will also be required to pay $4,311 and some change each month into a debt reserve account.” She clarified that the loan term would be forty years and the debt reserve payments would be made for ten years.

Before moving to vote, City Manager Sonia Jammes said: “This is something that we definitely need to process with. I would like to take a moment to commend Kim [Goldener] on such a great job at spearheading this and pulling staff together and getting all the data that she needed, and that we needed, so that we can proceed in this endeavor.” The council then voted unanimously to approve the loan package.

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