(The Center Square) – North Carolina's Local Government Commission (LGC) approved more than $126 million in financing for government buildings in six municipalities Tuesday.
Borrowing money through general obligation bonds allows governments to spread the costs across multiple years instead of tapping into cash flow or current revenue to cover a project's expenses.
One of the biggest requests approved by the LGC on Tuesday was $51 million in limited obligation bonds for Surry County. Surry plans to build a new jail and school gymnasium. The deal will not result in a tax increase for taxpayers.
The county will build a 360-bed detention facility, a 911 communications center and a magistrate's office. County officials said the current facility only has the capacity to hold 125 beds. Surry will build the jail with the capacity to expand up to 450 beds. It has spent $750,000 a year to house inmates out of the county as a result. As is, the communications center is also below capacity, they said.
Surry's bond also upgrades a gymnasium for Elkin High School and Elkin Middle School that was built in the 1960s.
The LGC also approved $48.2 million in limited obligation bonds for Chatham County to build an emergency operations center and a corresponding warehouse. The county also will build a warehouse and central services building for its school system. Taxpayers will not see a tax increase because of the construction.
County officials said the projects would address capacity needs. The LGC also approved a refund for limited obligation bonds issued to Chatham in 2013, resulting in savings of $462,686.
Taxpayers in Camden and Caldwell counties and Monroe also will escape tax hikes under the finance agreements approved by LGC on Tuesday for government facilities.
Caldwell borrowed $3.7 million for a county animal shelter. Camden plans to use $4.6 million for a library equipped with meeting space for its county commission and school board.
Monroe's $16.7 million in limited obligation bonds will finance a police headquarters and senior center in Union County.
The village of Bald Head Island also got approval to enter into a $1.6 million finance agreement for a 17-unit storage building with office space for its Contractor Services and Development Services Department in Brunswick County.
The largest finance request approved Tuesday was $263 million for Durham. The city will replace a short-term bond anticipation note that was used for water and sewer projects. Durham will issue a long-term revenue bond to pay off that note and finish the remaining capital improvement projects. The LGC also approved a $9 million revenue bond for the Durham Housing Authority to build 80 affordable housing units.
The LGC approved a $59.2 million finance agreement for the town of Chapel Hill in Orange County. Chapel Hill plans to build a 1,100-space parking deck with 40 electric charging stations, complete a street improvement project and refund existing debt at a lower interest rate.
Taxpayers in Apex will see about a $100 increase in property taxes because of its $42 million general obligation bond approved Tuesday. The Wake County town plans to upgrade street and sidewalks to relieve congestion.