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LCDA may refinance its headquarters
The LCDA building is on Highway 84 at the corner of Ryan Avenue in Hinesville. - photo by Courier file photo
The Liberty County Development Authority is looking to permanently finance its $2.5 million building on Highway 84.
The building has been under interest-only construction loans with The Heritage Bank and LCDA staff recommended going with a variable interest rate during authority’s monthly meeting on Monday.
LCDA paid for the building’s interior furnishings but the $2.1 million in construction costs needs to be paid, explained Carmen Cole, LCDA director of administration and finance.
“That’s a big change over a year ago,” said LCDA member Al Williams, participating by phone.
After receiving proposals from banks, including all local banks, Cole suggested the authority go with a 20-year note at a variable interest rate with The Heritage Bank.
The rate will be 85 percent of Wall Street prime at a floor of 2.76 percent.
“Whereas if we go with others, that rate would be extremely more elevated,” Cole said. “We would like to keep our numbers as low as possible, as long as we can.”
“It basically comes down to how fast [to] expect interest rates to go back up again,” LCDA CEO Ron Tolley said.
Cole estimated monthly payments would be $8,000 principal and interest.
“If we see it is going [wrong] we can always go and renegotiate the deal,” Cole said. “Better to take the lower rate and go as long as we can.”
The board had to table a decision until there was a quorum.
Members Jim Thomas, John McIver, Robert Stokes and Allen Brown were at the meeting, but McIver recused himself because of his seat on the Heritage board.
Members Jeff Arnold and Brian Smith were not present and Williams could not vote because he was on the phone.
Attorney Kelly Davis explained state law does not allow voting from a remote location.  
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