MINUTES OF THE CRISP COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
CALLED MEETING HELD ON OCTOBER 25, 2006
The meeting was called to order at 11:30 a.m. by Chairman Ferrell Henry with Commissioners A. James Nance, Joyce C. Pheil, and Brad Faircloth in attendance. Others present were County Administrator Lester E. Crapse, Jr. and Finance Director Sherrie Leverett. Chairman Henry gave the invocation.
APPROVE A RLF FOR PROJECT GOLD
Administrator Crapse reported that the first request they have from the Industrial Development Authority is to approve a Revolving Loan Fund for Project Gold in the amount of $475,000, a 10 year loan, second lien, and at 5.25%, which is approximately three points below prime. Cliff Harpe, attorney for the IDA, stated that they would like in an alternative to be either a loan to the Authority so they can do a lease or re-lend to them, or a direct loan because they are at a stage where they are in a bubble and need to massage it a little bit to make sure they get it the way they need it without having to come back to the Commissioners for another approval. They would like for it to be a direct loan to either to Project Gold or to the IDA. Bruce Drennan advised that from a legal standpoint when they get ready to close, Mr. Harpe wants to have the benefit of being able to go either way as to whichever would be the best way for them to go. Mr. Harpe stated that they are suppose to close the purchase of the facility on November 1st, and they told them there was no way they could pull all of their numbers together and get our money together by then. He advised that they are going to cut that deal and then they will have to do some reimbursements, replacements and refinances, but right now they donít know what is the best way to do it. Motion was made by Mr. Faircloth to approve a 10 year Revolving Loan Fund Loan dedicated to Project Gold to be used either directly by them or to the Industrial Development Authority in the amount of $475,000 at 5.25% interest, seconded by Mrs. Pheil, to have the question on the floor for discussion. Administrator Crapse reported that there is $459,000 in the RLF, this is quite a special request and to his knowledge we have never made a loan any better than 2% below prime, and this would equate to approximately 3% below prime. In the IDA meeting this morning, these people, like everyone else wants all they can get, but putting this package together was all we can do. Even with the loan at that rate, he thinks the project will fall about $200,000 short of what they were expecting to get. Everybody has come to the conclusion that, in addition to getting a business into town, the ability to take that abandoned building out of the visual view of prospects coming to town would be a positive thing, and the jobs that will be created is also a good thing for the county. The IDA drew the line this morning of offering them any covering of the loan or any direct monies to the firm. Mr. Faircloth asked if our RLF will increase over the next year, and Mrs. Leverett stated that we have about $5,000 coming in regularly monthly. Mr. Harpe stated that there are timing issues with their closing the loan, with grants and SPLOST funds. Mr. Faircloth stated that he would like to look at the possibility of some bonds in lieu of waiting on SPLOST money coming in. Mr. Henry advised that he wants to make sure we are legal, that we are not setting any precedents that we will be sorry about in the future, that we make sure that we arenít changing any obligations that we have already in our SPLOST allocations, and he thinks the fact that this Board voted to go ahead and up front finance the water tower and the spec building, is reason enough that we are totally committed to help our IDA and IDC growth in our community. In this case, he believes that we have to depend on those that have the experience and knowledge to make sure we are doing what we need to do. Mr. Harpe stated that they would entertain an amendment to the motion to bring down the amount requested from the RLF to whatever is available in the RLF as there is no point in us pre anticipating a payment that may or may not occur, and they are working on other sources of revenue for about $500,000 anyway. Mrs. Pheil advised if they were asking the county for what is available in our RLF, the shortfall will be left up to IDA to negotiate with the company. Mr. Harpe stated that they do have some other ways for money. Administrator Crapse stated that the impact is that this is 100% of our RLF money, if somebody comes in next week and wants a loan, we canít get it for them, also we canít drop below 3% because that is what the DCA money is going to be worth, typically we would be at 2 points below prime, which will be 6.25%, this request is for 5.25%, but they thought that the lower interest rate kind of makes up for some of the shortfall, but it does set a precedent. Mr. Drennan stated that the Commissioners could set some criteria to get the 3% below prime interest rate, and Commissioners thought that was a good idea. The motion was made by Mr. Faircloth to amend his motion to reduce the amount of RLF from $475,000 to $455,000, and also criteria for the approving the 3% below prime rate will be that the company will have a minimum of $9 million working capital, employ 100 full time employees, re-use of an existing facility, and beginning salary range between $9.50 and $18.50 an hour or above, seconded by Mrs. Pheil, motion carried unanimously.
APPROVE RELEASE OF $100,000 FROM 2000 SPLOST
Administrator Crapse reported that this request is for $100,000 out of SPLOST funds that has already been allocated in the Industrial Development, and we have the money on hand from the previous SPLOST. The IDA has requested that the money be released and paid on the second note at Planters First for the spec building. Motion was made by Mr. Nance to approve the request from IDA to release the $100,000 from the 2000 SPLOST to be paid on the second note at Planters First for the spec building, seconded by Mr. Faircloth, motion carried unanimously.
APPROVE PAYMENT TO PLANTERS FIRST
Administrator Crapse stated that this is to approve the payment of the first bank loan of $1 million plus the accrued interest to Planters First. In our Intergovernmental Agreement, it required that we collect the money first before we started disbursing other money. This past month, we reached that goal, and we now have that money ready to be paid out. This will avoid the IDA, and indirectly our funds, of having to pay a couple of months more interest, so we need to go ahead and approve that check to be paid on that Planters First Note fo the spec building. He has asked for a payoff effective November 1st. Motion was made by Mr. Faircloth to approve the payment of $1 million plus accrued interest to Planters First, seconded by Mr. Nance, motion carried unanimously.
WORK SESSION ON NOVEMBER 8TH
Administrator Crapse reported that he has completed the draft Liquor By The Drink Ordinance with all the comments and changes from the last work session, he has also made the administrative changes to accommodate the forms that go with it. He would like to schedule a work session for November 8th at 10:00 a.m. to go over the draft so that would put us on a path for either approval at the regular November meeting, or removing it from the agenda.
GO INTO EXECUTIVE SESSION
Motion was made by Mr. Nance to go into Executive Session to discuss personnel, seconded by Mr. Faircloth, motion carried unanimously.
COME OUT OF EXECUTIVE SESSION
By common consent, Commissioners came out of Executive Session.
By common consent, Commissioners adjourned the meeting at 12:30 p.m.