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Ahoskie Council approves loans

AHOSKIE – After many months of discussion and planning, the Town of Ahoskie will move forward with two major projects.

At a meeting here Monday morning, the Ahoskie Town Council approved the application process for two loans totaling $2.7 million. If those loan applications are approved, the town plans to spend $1.6 million to construct a new police station and $1.1 million on a multipurpose recreation complex.

Public hearings were scheduled for Monday on both matters. No one came forward to speak for or against either issue.

At the close of the public hearings, council members were unanimous in their decisions to apply for the loans.

The new, 8,600 square foot police station will be built on town-owned land along the south side of West Main Street on the lot between Colony Avenue and Curtis Street. The money will come from a USDA loan that must be approved by the North Carolina Local Government Commission (LGC).

Actually there two USDA loans involved in this one project, each with 30-year repayments. The first is for $1.172 million at an interest rate of 4.125 percent with an annual payment of $68,820. The second loan will be for $400,000 at a 4.625 percent interest rate and an annual payment of $24,920.

Town Council members have discussed the police station issue since last year. The move towards constructing a new station was based on the fact that the building currently used by the Ahoskie Police has been owned by the town since 1939 and has eroded to the point where there are safety concerns. That building is also sub-standard according to some OHSA requirements.

Construction plans for the new police station are not yet finalized, but work is expected to begin soon, perhaps as early as September. The new building is expected to take six months to complete.

The recreation complex issue has also been in the works for over one year. Coupled with a $500,000 PARTF (Parks and Recreation Trust Fund) grant recently awarded to the town, Ahoskie plans to spend a total of $1.6 million to construct a multipurpose complex at the newly named Ahoskie Creek Recreational Complex (the old FEMA buyout area). That complex will be the home of softball fields, multi-purpose football/soccer fields, playgrounds and picnic shelters. Construction is already underway on the Ahoskie Amphitheater at the same location.

Council members agreed at Monday’s meeting to forward a $1.1 million loan application to RBC Centura Bank in regards to the recreation complex. That measure must also be approved by the LGC.

The recreation loan will be repaid ($73,333.33 annually) over a 15-year period at a 3.99 percent interest rate.

Due to Ahoskie’s strong debt management procedures, there will be no need to increase property taxes to repay either loan.