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Financial wizard

AHOSKIE – A thought by Ahoskie Town Manager Tony Hammond turned into a large savings for the citizens of the town.

Tuesday morning, Hammond presented the Ahoskie Town Council with the opportunity to save more than $173,000 over the next 13 years by refinancing the Ahoskie Creek Recreation Complex.

“This is something I was sitting around about two weeks ago and I was looking at all the refinancing everybody was doing,” he said. “I didn’t know how the state talks about refinancing.”

Hammond said he called the Local Government Commission and asked for guidance. He said that entity said if the same organization would refinance the loan, the LGC wouldn’t get involved.

The manager then contacted the Local Government Federal Credit Union and asked if they had an interest in refinancing the project at a reduced interest rate, but they were not.

The current loan for the Ahoskie Creek Recreational Complex is at 4.5 percent interest and will last for 13 more years. Hammond said he asked the LGFCU for a payoff and then sent out a Request for Proposals.

“I asked the Local Government Commission what we had to do and it’s the same application you have to do for a regular loan, but a much abbreviated version,” he said.

Hammond said he sent the RFP to PNC, Southern Bank, BB&T and Municipal Finance. Of those four, only BB&T and Southern Bank responded.

“After review, BB&T had the lowest rate of 2.69 percent,” Hammond said. “If you look at what this does, over the length of the loan it is going to save us $13,089 per year or $173,420 over a 13-year period for this loan.”

“That’s amazing,” Councilman O.S. “Buck” Suiter Jr. said.

Hammond asked the board to approve the request to refinance the loan.

Councilman Maurice Vann offered the motion to do just that and Suitor offered a second. It passed by a unanimous vote.

Following the vote, the members of the Ahoskie Town Council commended Hammond for a job well done and for how much money he saved the town by moving forward with the process.