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County approves first reading of $1.1 million GOB Print E-mail

A quorum of Bamberg County Council members gave first reading approval to a proposed Ordinance to provide for the issuance and sale of not exceeding $1,100,000 million in General Obligation Bonds of Bamberg County, at a special call meeting, Monday night, February 20th, in the County Courthouse.

Voting for the proposed Ordinance were: Council members: Alzena Robinson, Larry Haynes, Evert Comer, the Rev. Isaiah Odom and Clint Carter. Council members Chris Wilson and Clair Guess did not attend the meeting.

“The purpose of starting the process of issuing a General Obligation Bond is that we have two TANs (Tax Anticipation Notes) that are coming due in April, of $ 1 million dollars,” Rose Dobson-Elliott, Bamberg County Administrator explained, adding “we’re trying to turn this (TANs) into long-term debt to protect the cash position of the County, while navigating through some of the final details of selling the hospital building and proceeding to try to close with Dobbs.”

During the public comments portion of the meeting:

Sarah Noel, who was the only member of the public to attend the meeting, asked if the TAN had to be paid in full in April. Yes, by April 15 she was told.

Noel also asked if there was any other way to pay the TAN other than floating the General Obligation Bond.

Council Vice Chair Alzena Robinson responded to Noel that there was no other way to pay the TAN “at this point and time.”

Noel also asked when the General Obligation Bond is floated how it is going to be paid for. County Administrator Dobson-Elliott noted again that the purpose of the Bond was to turn the TAN into long-term debt, noting “In anticipation of a couple other projects once those projects are done the GO Bond could be paid off.”

A question was asked as to whether the General Obligation Bond would result in a tax increase to which Administrator Dobson-Elliott responded: “If the other projects are not completed by the time the budget is done and or tax notices go out there will probably be a 2.5 mill increase to cover the bond payment.

The Charleston, South Carolina-based Law Firm of Howell and Linkous was noted as being the bond attorney.

Second Reading of the General Obligation Bond is scheduled for Tuesday night, February 21, with a public hearing scheduled for March 8th.

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