- The Local Government Commission will vote on more than $1.5 billion in financing for local government projects across the state, including about $900 million for airports in Charlotte and Asheville, at its meeting today, Tuesday, May 3.
The LGC, chaired by State Treasurer Dale R. Folwell, CPA, and staffed by the Department of State Treasurer, will consider nearly $274 million in financing sought by Cabarrus County for courthouse and other capital improvement projects, as well as other requests on the agenda including financing of government building and infrastructure work, and refinancing old debt at lower rates.
The commission has a statutory duty to monitor the financial well-being of more than 1,100 local government units. The commission also examines whether the amount of money units borrow is adequate and reasonable for proposed projects, and confirms the governmental units can reasonably afford to repay the debt.
The city of Charlotte (Mecklenburg County) is requesting approval for up to $425 million in revenue bonds for Charlotte Douglas International Airport for a series of improvements that include a major expansion to the terminal, and to refund an older bond. Several projects already are under way or about to begin construction. The city also is seeking approval of $300 million in bond anticipation notes for the capital improvement projects and to refinance a previous bond anticipation note. This type of temporary interest-bearing debt is issued when a project is being done in stages, and they are paid back with a larger future bond note planned in the future.
The Greater Asheville Regional Airport Authority (Buncombe County) wants the LGC to approve up to $185 million in revenue bonds to expand and modernize the terminal, ticket lobby, TSA screening, baggage claim and concessions area. Improvements will be made to the existing terminal building and supporting infrastructure, a centralized energy plant will be built, and for an air traffic control tower. The bonds are expected to go on sale on May 19.
Cabarrus County is seeking approval of $160 million in limited obligation bonds to build and equip a 250,000-square-foot courthouse, elementary school, Emergency Medical Services headquarters, Mt. Pleasant Library/Senior Center and various school, county and recreation facility projects. The county also is asking the LGC for go-ahead on $113.7 million in limited obligation refunding bonds to pay off balances from a current draw note for projects previously approved by the LGC.
The Water and Sewer Authority of Cabarrus County is seeking approval of $85 million in revenue bonds for the third phase of expansion of the Rocky River Regional Wastewater Treatment Facility to increase the capacity from 26.5 million to 30 million gallons per day.
Orange County will ask the LGC to approve $43.2 million in limited obligation bonds for construction of the Orange County Southern Branch Library, purchase of public vehicles, and multiple school and county building projects.
Carrboro (Orange County) is on the agenda for $12.6 million in installment contract financing to build a three-story, 51,884-square-foot building and 171-slot parking deck to house the Orange County Southern Branch Library, the town Recreation, Parks and Cultural Resources Program, and Orange County Skilled Development Center. WCOM Radio would occupy a small portion of the building.
Goodwill Industries of Eastern NC, a Durham-based, tax-exempt organization, is seeking permission to obtain up to $60 million in revenue bonds to purchase 42 retail stores and donation centers from the Goodwill Community Foundation as part of a split between the entities. The funding would be used to refinance a temporary promissory note held by the foundation.
The city of Durham (Durham County) is asking the LGC to approve $30.5 million in general obligation refunding bonds to save $1.8 million in lowered interest costs.
Johnson & Wales University (Mecklenburg County), hit by declining enrollments in its culinary and hospitality degree programs due to the pandemic's disproportionate impacts on those industries, is seeking the green light on $25.5 million in revenue refunding bonds to save a little over $2.2 million in reduced interest costs. In addition to its Charlotte, the university has a campus in Providence, R.I.
LGC members will vote on $21.1 million in financing sought by Rockingham County to build a Workforce Development Center at Rockingham Community College. The installment contract would be paid over time instead of in a lump sum.
Lexington (Davidson County) also is seeking approval of an installment contract for up to $14 million to build a one-stop administrative building in the former Windstream building to consolidate all current customer service functions and utility payments now housed at multiple locations.
LGC members are being asked to approve a number of other financing requests. They are:
- Fayetteville State Housing Foundation (Cumberland County), $7.45 million to finance the balance of an existing loan for construction of student housing in 2001.
- High Point (Guilford County), $7.2 million to refund existing debt at a lower interest rate to save about $160,000.
- Cape Fear Public Utility Authority (New Hanover County), $4.59 million to repair the sewer collection system, and flooding prevention measures at a wastewater treatment plant, and a $4 million increase on a state revolving loan to replace concrete pipe at a pump station.
- Tuckaseigee Water and Sewer Authority (Jackson County), $4.59 million to upgrade a wastewater treatment plant.
- New Bern (Craven County), $3.9 million to add an elevator in City Hall.
- Reidsville (Rockingham County), $3.65 million for water line construction to complement the aging transmission main.
- Waynesville (Haywood County), $1.9 million to purchase land for a fire station, tanker fire truck, refinance existing debt.
- Contentnea Metropolitan Sewer District (Pitt County), $1.6 million for wastewater treatment plant infrastructure improvements to mitigate flooding.
- Yadkin Valley Sewer Authority (Surry and Wilkes counties), $657,000 for equipment replacement at the wastewater treatment plant.
- Washington (Beaufort County), a $639,080 increase to an existing loan to pay expenses related to a police station project.
- East Yancey Water & Sewer District (Yancey County), a $315,161 increase in a state revolving loan to address contaminated soil along the installation route of sewer line replacement.