The Liberty County commissioners say they saved county taxpayers more than $1 million Thursday by refinancing the more than $20 million bond issue that is paying for the county’s Justice Center.
Ameris Bank made a successful bid to handle the refinancing, offering an interest rate of 2.62 percent.
County Administrator Joey Brown said the action by the commission and the Liberty County Public Facilities Authority will pay off the bonds earlier and at lower cost the original bond sale. The current Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax and one more multi-year SPLOST levy will complete the payoff, if voters approve another SPLOST.
A May 8 superior court hearing will formally approve the refinancing arrangement.
Leah Poole of the Chamber of Commerce and Convention and Visitors Bureau briefed the commissioners on film guidelines her agency is recommended for the county and its municipalities. Poole said the regulations were based on rules developed by Savannah.
The guidelines deal with safety and security and are intended to protect people and property, she said. Poole reminded the commissioners of a 2014 accident in Wayne County when a member of a film crew was killed. She said the recent filming by American Grit in Liberty County followed proper procedures, but there had been no requirement for that compliance.
Poole said most of Liberty County’s municipalities had agreed to the guidelines, and the commissioners voted to enact them. The action might be timely; Poole said there is a possibility of filming for VH1 in Liberty County soon.
In other business, the commissioners ordered two new ambulances. They accepted the low bid placed by Taylor Made, an Arkansas company. With a $5,000 discount both ambulances will cost $305,468. Each body will be placed on a Dodge 3500 chassis. Brown said the county can expect delivery in 90 to 120 days.
The commission accepted the action of the executive committee of the Liberty County Republican Party placing Benjamin P. O’Neal in the seat formerly held by Melinda Schneider on the Liberty County Board of Elections.
The commissioners rearranged their agenda to allow time for members of the Hinesville Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority to join in a proclamation honoring their 30th anniversary on May 24. The sorority sponsors activities emphasizing the importance of higher education and academic and professional achievement.