A newly-established facilities authority for Bryan County will allow the county to borrow money at low interest rates for needed facilities, such as fire stations and recreation department gyms, officials say.
According to a press release, a facilities authority helps communities access low-cost financing for capital projects through the issuance of tax-exempt revenue bonds.
Authorities make low-interest loans available to finance infrastructure that might otherwise be unaffordable to communities if they had to borrow money for the projects at market rates, officials say “Georgia law prohibits a local government from entering into long-term contracts to spend public funds beyond one year. But by contracting with another governmental body, in this case a Facilities Authority, the county is able to enter into such contractual agreements, such as revenue bonds,” Bryan County Administrator Ben Taylor said.
“By creating a local facilities authority, we’ll be able to secure valuable, low-cost financing to help complete projects we otherwise might not be able to fund. It’s a valuable tool to meet the needs of our citizens with the facilities that they deserve.”
The board will consist of five members, plus Bryan County Administrator Ben Taylor and Finance Director John Rauback. The authority is expected to start meeting this month, once the rest of the board is appointed.
Taylor said he expects the first matter addressed to be the construction of a new Henderson Park gym, once the scope of work has been determined.
The Bryan County Facilities Authority was created with House Bill 559, which went through the Georgia House and Senate and has been signed by Gov. Brian Kemp.