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Council OKs new loan for City Center

Richmond Hill to save as much as $800,000

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POSTED: March 9, 2013 10:00 a.m.

The city of Richmond Hill can look forward to some cost savings after a decision by the City Council on Tuesday to refinance the Richmond Hill City Center.
The council voted 3-0 to refinance with Ameris Bank the city’s $3.8 million loan, decreasing it by five years from a 17-year to a 12-year loan.
This could save the city as much as $800,000 in interest over the life of the loan, according to City Manager Chris Lovell.
Richmond Hill Mayor Harold Fowler said he was pleased with the council’s decision.
“I think it’s great. I think if we save the taxpayers (in Richmond Hill) between $700,000 and $800,000, that’s a thing we should be doing,” Fowler said Thursday.
“Plus we will get the loan paid off several years quicker — I see nothing but positives on it.”
The council discussed the idea at its Feb. 19 meeting. Officials said refinancing the loan not only saves the city money, but also puts the loan more in line with the city’s special purpose local option sales tax cycle.
The city pays for the building with SPLOST dollars.
City Finance Director Bob Whitmarsh said there are five years left in the city’s current SPLOST cycle, and if another SPLOST cycle is approved in 2017, the center could be paid off a year after that cycle ends.
Also during the meeting, the council voted 3-0 to approve a contract with Vidalia-based McLendon Enterprises for $155,831.30 for a water looping project in area referred to as the Bottom.
This will provide a constant flow of water through the city’s pipes in that area, council members said.
Council member Jan Bass was absent.

 

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