06/10/14 — County board to hold special session

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County board to hold special session

By Steve Herring
Published in News on June 10, 2014 1:46 PM

Wayne County commissioners will meet in special session Wednesday afternoon to approve a loan from North Carolina's Eastern Region.

The meeting will be held in the commissioners' meeting room on the fourth floor of the county courthouse.

Commissioners last week approved a resolution authorizing the application for $2,162,192.25. Wednesday's special session is to actually approve the loan and associated loan documents.

The quick turnaround of closing out the loan as near to June 10 as possible is because the Eastern Region will cease to exist by the end of the month. It is being replaced by the privatized Eastern Regional Alliance.

The state created a trust fund when the Eastern Region was first formed. The stipulation was that the money can only be used by member counties for economic development projects.

The loan to be approved Wednesday will be the third that the county has made through the Eastern Region since March, when it borrowed the county's $576,923 share of the trust fund.

Before borrowing the money, commissioners asked the county's municipalities to submit economic development projects to be considered for funding.

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.

The loans have to be repaid within 59 months. There is no interest.

Goldsboro also applied, but withdrew, saying that the smaller towns had a greater need.

In April, the county applied for a second loan for $1 million, and then more recently another $1.5 million.

The additional loan funding was made available by counties in the region that for whatever reason decided not to borrow their shares of the trust fund.

After deciding on the $1.5 million loan, commissioners were told the total available was $2.16 million.

Commissioners are expected to earmark some of those funds for repairs at the county's Genoa sewer plant.

Also, Goldsboro city officials were contacted to see if the city still had an interest in borrowing from the county.

City officials said they could use $636,187 to help in a project to widen Berkeley Boulevard between New Hope Road and the Berkeley Commons shopping center.

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

The crossover loans will each require a one-time, two-percent loan origination fee and an annual interest rate of a quarter of one percent.