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Public hearing scheduled Monday for western elementary school loan

By Josh Bergeron

josh.bergeron@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — County commissioners on Monday will hold a public hearing on a $27.5 million loan that will pay for construction of a western Rowan County elementary school.

The public hearing will be at 10 a.m. on the second floor of the county administration building — 130 West Innes St. After the public hearing, commissioners could vote to approve the loan, sending it to the state’s Local Government Commission for final approval.

Speakers during Friday’s meeting will be given three minutes each.

Rowan County’s loan will pay for the largest part of the western elementary school, which will be built in Cleveland. It won’t pay for the entire cost of the facility. The projected cost of the school exceeds the loan by $334,492. School officials have said that money would be paid out of the Rowan-Salisbury Schools fund balance.

Commissioners are required to provide the $27.5 million as part of a settlement agreement between the county and school system.

Related to the public hearing, Rowan County last week received loan proposals from several banks. The proposals are specifically for a $27.5 installment financing agreement to pay for the acquisition, construction and furnishing of the new, consolidated western Rowan County elementary school.

Derrick Atkins, an internal auditor for Rowan County, said staff would perform a detailed analytical review of all aspects of the proposals to determine the best loan option.

The $27.5 million loan proposals from various financial institutions are as follows:

• Capital One Public Funding proposed a loan with an interest rate of 2.99 percent and a term of 15 years.

• Raymond James Capital Funding proposed a loan with an interest rate of 2.41 percent and a term of 15 years.

• Sterling National Bank proposed an interest rate of 3.17 percent and a term of 15 years.

• STI Institutional and Government (Suntrust) proposed a loan with a term of 12 years and two different interest rates. The rates are 2.21 percent and 2.29 percent, depending on which prepayment option the county selects.

First, commissioners must approve a loan proposal. Then, the state’s Local Government Commission must give its OK before the county can finalize the loan.

Contact reporter Josh Bergeron at 704-797-4246.

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