05/14/14 — Council to seek money to widen Berkeley

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Council to seek money to widen Berkeley

By Steve Herring
Published in News on May 14, 2014 1:46 PM

The city of Goldsboro's Berkeley Boulevard widening project could receive a nearly interest free $636,187 loan through Wayne County.

The county is administering loans from North Carolina's Eastern Region Trust Fund.

The money would not speed up the project, but it would help with financing and would allow the city to hold onto its cash a little longer, City Manager Scott Stevens said.

Of the total, the city would use $138,700 for utility and gas line relocation; $87,000 for sidewalk completion; $142,000 for water/sewer; $250,000 to complete right-of-way acquisition; and $24,176 for previously paid attorney fees.

The city would have to pay a one-time, 2-percent loan origination fee and an annual interest rate of a quarter of one percent over the 59-month life of the loan.

However, whether or not the city gets the entire $636,187, or just a portion of it, depends on how much of the $2.5 million in loans the county has applied for is funded. If the entire amount is made available, it will mean that the county will end up borrowing just over $3 million from the Eastern Region.

Wayne County commissioners met Tuesday to amend their third application for an Eastern Region Trust Fund loan, raising the amount from $576,923 to $1.5 million.

The Eastern Region was created by the state years ago to promote economic development. It is being dissolved effective June 30 and will be replaced by the nonprofit North Carolina Eastern Alliance. The trust fund was created by the state when the Eastern Region was formed.

Trust fund loans can only be used by member counties for economic development projects.

In March, commissioners' application to borrow the county's $576,923 share of the trust fund was approved.

Commissioners at that time asked the county's municipalities to submit economic development projects to be considered for funding trough the first loan.

Mount Olive will get $100,000 for its airport project, Pikeville $75,000 to refurbish a tank used to store treated wastewater, Fremont $255,244,71 to pay off long-term debt, and Eureka $146,678 for sewer improvements.

Goldsboro asked for money as well, but later withdrew, saying that the smaller towns had a greater need.

The city was able to be reconsidered for a loan after the county learned more money was available.

Interim County Manager George Wood said he contacted Stevens after learning the additional money was available.

Stevens told him that the city could use $636,187 to help with the Berkeley project.

In April, the county applied for an additional $1 million, and then on Tuesday asked for another $1.5 million.

The first $576,923 requires a one-time, one-percent fee and no interest for 59 months. The towns will pay the one percent loan origination fee.

The money for the second and third loan applications will come from counties that decided not to use their portions of the trust fund.

Additional fees are tied to that second pot of money. Those crossover loans will each require a one-time, two-percent loan origination fee and an annual interest rate of a quarter of one percent.