(The Center Square) — The North Carolina Local Government Commission recently approved $1.5 billion in financing requests from across the state, including about $900 million for airports in Charlotte and Asheville.
The LGC is chaired by State Treasurer Dale Folwell and staffed by his office, and it’s tasked with monitoring the financial well-being of more than 1,100 local government units. The commission examines whether financing for projects is reasonable and confirms local governments can afford to repay the debt.
The commission met on Tuesday to consider numerous proposals. The LGC approved up to $425 million in revenue bonds for a series of improvements at the Charlotte Douglas International Airport to go toward a major expansion of the terminal, and to repay an older bond.
The city of Charlotte gained approval for $300 million in bond anticipation notes for capital improvement projects and to refinance a previous bond anticipation note, according to a Folwell press release.
The LGC authorized the Greater Asheville Regional Airport Authority to use $185 million in revenue bonds to expand and modernize the terminal, ticket lobby, TSA screening, baggage claim and concessions area. The bonds, expected to go on sale on May 19, will also go toward a centralized energy plant and air traffic control tower.
Other major requests approved on Tuesday include a proposal from Cabarrus County to issue $160 million in limited obligation bonds to build and equip a new courthouse, elementary school, emergency medical services headquarters, and library and senior center, among other projects. The LGC also granted approval of another $113.7 million in limited obligation refunding bonds for the county to pay off balances from a current draw note for projects previously approved by the commission.
Cabarrus County’s Water and Sewer Authority was granted approval for $85 million in revenue bonds to continue expansion of the Rocky River Regional Wastewater Treatment Facility that will increase its capacity from 26.5 million to 30 million gallons per day.
Orange County’s request was approved for $43.2 million in limited obligation bonds for construction of the Orange County Southern Branch Library, the purchase of public vehicles, and several school and county building projects.
The LGC also approved $12.6 million in installment contract financing to build a three-story, 51,884-square-foot building and 171-slot parking deck in Carrboro to house the Orange County Southern Branch Library, the town Recreation, Parks and Cultural Resources Program, and Orange County Skilled Development Center.
Goodwill Industries of Eastern North Carolina gained LGC approval for up to $60 million in revenue bonds through the North Carolina Capital Facilities Finance Agency, which will be used to buy 42 retail stores and donation centers, and to refinance a temporary promissory note.
The city of Durham was also approved for $30.5 million in general obligation refunding bonds to save about $1.8 million through lower interest rates.
Other big requests granted by the LGC on Tuesday include $25.5 million in revenue refunding bonds for Johnson & Wales University, $21.1 million in financing for the Workforce Development Center, and up to $14 million for an installment contract in Lexington to build a one-stop administrative building.
More information about the LGC approved requests are available on the state treasurer’s website.