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May 15, 2021

City Council approves resolutions to refinance Fibrant debt

By Amanda Raymond
amanda.raymond@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — The Salisbury City Council has approved a contract to refinance Fibrant debt.

At its meeting on Tuesday, the council heard a brief presentation about the request to refinance the city’s Series 2008 and Series 2013 Certificates of Participation that were used to fund Fibrant, the city’s fiber optic network, from Teresa Harris, finance director.

She reminded the council of the lower interest rate of the proposal, at 2.06 percent, and that the maturity date of the debt won’t be extended.

SunTrust Bank, the only bank that submitted a proposal to refinance the debt, does not require a debt service fund and agreed to a 13-year commitment of the interest rate.

The refinancing could shave off $3 million worth of debt service over the life of the loan and the city would save close to $400,000 yearly.

First, the city approved a resolution that made certain findings and requested approval from the Local Government Commission.

Some of those findings included that the proposed contract was necessary or expedient to the city, that no tax increases will be needed and that the city is not in default for any of its debt service obligations.

Approval from the Local Government Commission also included appointing Public Financial Management, Inc. as the financial advisor and Robinson Bradshaw & Hinson P.A. as special counsel.

Only one person spoke at the public hearing. Darrell Hancock spoke in favor of the proposal, mentioning other projects that former city leaders have undertaken that were not popular at the time but ended up being good for the city in the long run.

“I say, stick to your guns, stick with Fibrant and in the long run you will be proven right and visionary,” he said.

Lastly, the council approved a resolution that approved the Installment Financing Contract with STI Institutional and Government, Inc. and allowed for the appropriate officials to carry out and deliver the associated documents.

Harris said the Local Government Commission will be considering approval of the refinancing at a meeting next month.

In other business, the council:

  • Adopted a resolution recognizing Lynn Raker, a retired urban design planner with the city.
  • Approved the consent agenda, which included:
    • A $177,242.55 agreement with Carolina Siteworks to install sidewalks on one side of Old Concord Road between Harrell and Ryan streets.
  • Heard a presentation about the Summer Youth Employment Program.
  • Set public hearings for building rehabilitation incentive requests for the Morgan Ridge Brewery project and the Washington Building project for Sept. 6.
  • Allowed the city manager to approve purchase orders of $4,684,609.80 to Carolina Meter and Supply for small water meters and $535,943.40 to Consolidated Pipe and Supply Co. for large water meters for the Advance Metering Implementation Project. In January, the council approved $7.2 million for the project that will replace more than 19,000 water meters.
  • Allowed Lane Bailey, the city manager, to carry out a Memorandum of Understanding with the Yadkin Pee-Dee Water Management Group.
  • Heard an update on Code Services.
  • Appointed Jayne Helms for the landlord position of the Housing Advocacy Commission.
  • Heard public comment. Joe Morris talked about code enforcement and how houses and neighborhoods in the area have gone downhill since the recession. He said he wanted to support the efforts of the division. Barbara Perry also talked about code enforcement, saying the Housing Advocacy Commission members have heard many concerns from neighbors about neglected violations.
    DeeDee Wright thanked Mayor Pro Tem Maggie Blackwell and Jake Alexander for the progress on getting sidewalks on Old Concord Road.

Contact reporter Amanda Raymond at 704-797-4222.

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