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County board OKs loan refinancing
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The Development Authority of Bryan County can look forward to some cost savings in the future after county commissioners approved Tuesday a refinancing package for a 297-acre piece of property at Interstate Centre.

The subject property, referred to as IC III, is a tract located in the industrial park off of Highway 280 in Black Creek and borders Old Cuyler Road. During their regular meeting at the courthouse in Pembroke, commissioners approved an agreement with Colony Bank to refinance the loan on the property — a move that will offer a savings of about $200,000, Development Authority of Bryan County Chairman Steve Croy told commissioners.

“For informational purposes, the loan was in the amount of $5,159,916. Our previous (interest) rate was at a 4 percent rate, which equated to an interest per month of $17,173 and some change. The total (interest) over the 30-month note of that (loan) was $515,192,” Croy told commissioners.

“The rate we were able to negotiate with Colony Bank has lowered that percentage rate to 2.49 percent, which equated to a monthly interest rate of $10,690 and some change, which resulted in the term interest being $320,707, which resulted in a $194,485 savings to us, which was very appreciated.”

According to Development Authority Executive Director Josh Fenn, the refinance was solely to save money.

“We just found a better deal,” Fenn said Wednesday. “We like to shop around every year to 18 months to see if there’s a better deal out there.”
Fenn said the savings will likely be used to help lure more industry and jobs here.

“What this does is allows our resources to be used to help attract industry to Bryan County while at the same time managing our capital debt service,” Fenn said. “We’re always looking for ways to make improvements to Interstate Centre, and we try to make the most of our limited resources. And when there’s an opportunity to save money so that we don’t need additional funds and manage what we have, it’s a good thing.”

Croy also said during the meeting the Development Authority is thankful for the cooperation of the commissioners throughout the process.

“We couldn’t have done it without the cooperation of this board and we certainly appreciate it,” Croy said. “It gives us the opportunity to do some long-term planning on that tract. I will tell you that tract has gotten some attention as of late and we continue to show that property.”

Also during the meeting, the county unanimously approved to hold the millage rate at 7.9 mills for another year.

Commissioner Glen Willard said this was the fourth year in a row the commissioners have gone without increasing the millage rate.

“And we’ve managed to continue to operate the county on less money than we were receiving four years ago, and that’s certainly a challenge,” Commission Chairman Jimmy Burnsed added.

Only the residents in Jerico Subdivision will see an increase in their tax bill. An extra 4.777 mills will be added to their tax total due to paving and drainage improvements the county performed in the neighborhood.

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