Porter li­brary fund­ing ap­proved

$3.46 mil­lion in bonds to be is­sued for sec­ond li­brary in county

The Covington News - - Local News - By Rachel Oswald

The New­ton County Board of Com­mis­sion­ers ap­proved the is­suance of $3.46 mil­lion in bonds to pay for the county’s sec­ond li­brary at their Tues­day meet­ing.

The bonds are to be paid back at a rate of $555,000 an­nu­ally un­til 2015 said Bryan Huske, vice pres­i­dent of in­vest­ment bank­ing firm Mer­chant Cap­i­tal. The to­tal in­ter­est paid on the bonds will be $524,000 bring­ing the to­tal cost of the bonds to $3.98 mil­lion.

The Porter Memo­rial Branch Li­brary will be built on Ga. High­way 212, next to Oak Hill Ele­men­tary School. Ad­di­tional fund­ing for the li­brary comes from a $2 mil­lion state grant and ap­prox­i­mately $1 mil­lion from lo­cally col­lected im­pact fees. Construction on the li­brary is ex­pected to be­gin in early 2009.

In other BOC news:

The lat­est scaled back pro­jec­tions from Mer­chant Cap­i­tal on the ho­tel/mo­tel taxes, which lo­cal of­fi­cials plan to use to pay down the $23 mil­lion in bonds for the civic cen­ter project, were ad­dressed by con­cerned mem­bers of the com­mu­nity, in­clud­ing for­mer Cov­ing­ton City At­tor­ney Jerry Bouch­illon and Ox­ford res­i­dent Ge­orge Stamps. • Orig­i­nal pro­jec­tions showed the bonds be­com­ing rev­enue neu­tral by 2021 with a to­tal sur­plus of $19.9 mil­lion by 2040. The lat­est “moderate” as­sump­tions to come out have the bonds not be­com­ing rev­enue neu­tral un­til 2029 and bring­ing in a sur­plus of only $405,869. • Cov­ing­ton/New­ton County Cham­ber of Com­merce Pres­i­dent John Boothby ad­dressed the board about the bonds and said he ap­pre­ci­ated the “del­i­cacy” of their sit­u­a­tion, but added

meet­ing if they were to wait a cou­ple of years for the econ­omy to turn around to build the civic cen­ter, the costs of construction by then would likely make the project too ex­pen­sive to move for­ward with. • The board ap­proved a re­zon­ing pro­posal for 25 acres of land lo­cated on the Ac­cess Road in District 3 from sin­gle fam­ily res­i­den­tial to com­mer­cial gen­eral. • The own­ers of the prop­erty – Fairview Road, LLC, Jody Ham­monds and Re­sources Pied­mont – plan to de­velop 175,550 square feet of com­mer­cial space on the land.

With the cost of as­phalt sharply in­creas­ing, the BOC was forced to in­crease the amount of money it ini­tially agreed to pay con­trac­tor ER Snell Con­tract­ing Inc. for the resur­fac­ing of Jack Neely Road by $43,000 • When the bid was awarded to ER Snell in the beginning of July, the cost of the project was $1,133,000. The new cost of the project is $1,176,000.

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