Street improvement financing approved

Published 8:17 am Tuesday, August 19, 2014

AHOSKIE – It can’t be done all at once, and not just because of the hefty price tag.

But things have been put in motion to begin street repairs in the town of Ahoskie after the Town Council approved a resolution authorizing the execution and delivery of an installment financing contract with BB&T Bank’s Governmental Financing in the amount of $500,000.

If town officials had decided to tackle the issue of street repairs all at one time that effort would come at a cost of $1.84 million.

At its Aug. 5 meeting the Local Government Commission (LGC) approved Ahoskie’s request for term financing of the town’s 2014-15 Street Improvement Project.

The LGC is part of the North Carolina Department of State Treasurer and assists local North Carolina municipal governments in decision making involving large financing projects. The commission is chaired by State Treasurer Janet Cowell.

In July, BB&T prepared a resolution for financing the project with a seven-year term at a rate of 2.45 percent.

“Council decided we would tackle this (street improvements) in phases, and this is the first phase of it,” said Town Manager Tony Hammond at the Aug. 12 Council meeting. “The only thing that may change on this at a later date is USDA is interested in this project also, but it’s going to take longer for them to come back, so the LGC has approved us to go ahead with this project through BB&T.”

Hammond said if USDA would come back to the town with a cheaper interest rate and the Ahoskie Council desired to re-do their financing, they would be able to re-apply through the LGC at a later time and go back to the USDA.

Several Council members complimented the interest rate, led by Councilwoman Elaine Myers.  Hammond said it was an especially good rate in light of the second one that was offered.

“We talked about this in our workshop,” said Councilman Rev. C. David Stackhouse, “and it’s going to cover quite a few of those streets, much-needed streets.”

At the Council’s winter 2013 retreat they heard from Public Works Director Kirk Rogers who informed them of the streets designated to receive pavement.  These were based on a study conducted by the Wooten Group of Greenville and covered some 20,000 linear feet.

The streets include: Albemarle Drive, Forest Drive, Berkeley Road, Clarendon Road, Craven Road, and Shaftesbury Road in the Colonial Acres sub-division.

Closer within the town’s original boundaries, the earmarked areas for paving would be West Street, Richard Street, Mitchell Street, Curtis Street, North Street, Ruth Street, and Colony Avenue.

Five more streets were identified near or along Catherine Creek Road: Malibu Drive, Patterson Avenue, Staton Avenue, Davis Street, and Holloman Avenue.

The first loan payment for the town would begin at $83,678.57 due on July 2, 2015, and it will amortize down to $73,178.57 by July 2021.

Hammond said the project will require a budget amendment, to follow at a later date, as directed by the LGC.

Councilman Stackhouse made a motion to approve the resolution, seconded by Councilwoman Myers, and it was unanimously approved by the full Council.