Dare commissioners move forward with financing for three projects

Published 4:10 pm Monday, March 20, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Dare County commissioners took the final step on March 6, 2023 to issue debt as part of the county’s plan to build three projects.

The resolution authorizes execution of an installment financing contract, deed of trust and indenture of trust, and purchase contract to build a new Dare MedFlight hangar and quarters, a new Southern Shores Emergency Medical Services station and joint Dare County Emergency Medical Services/Kill Devil Hills fire stations.

Collectively, the new facilities are known as the 2023A projects.

Get the latest headlines sent to you

The principal amount of the limited obligation bonds is not to exceed $49,250,000.

The financing items are on the April 4, 2023 calendar for consideration by North Carolina’s Local Government Commission. Assuming approval, the bond sale date is April 20 and the bond closing date is May 5.

The commissioners also approved the fifth amended capital project ordinance for the 2023A projects. The ordinance established a guaranteed maximum price for the joint Dare/Kill Devil Hills stations at $36,297,181, subject to additions and deductions by change order. Additionally, the ordinance approved budgets for the other two projects and for costs of issuing bonds.

Other items associated with these projects and adopted by Dare’s commissioners include approval of a lease with TowneBank for the use of 4,047 square feet at 6 Jupiter Trail in Southern Shores. The lease is for a year at $1. The space is needed in connection with the Southern Shores EMS building project.

Dare’s commissioners also approved a ground lease with Fire Services Real Estate, Inc. for 28 E. Dogwood Trail in Southern Shores for the construction of the Emergency Medical Services station. The lease is for 30 years. Rent is $1 annually.

A 20-year lease with Kill Devil Hills to pay without deductions or setoff, a sum equal to cost of improvements (including interest costs and cost of debt issuance) for the KDH portion of the property, together with other expenses (utilities, maintenance and insurance). Under this agreement, Dare County is borrowing the money and building the two new stations. Kill Devil Hills is paying its portion of the issued debt.

Additional financing actions
In another financing action, the commissioners adopted a resolution awarding financing for equipment purchases authorized in the current fiscal year operating budget.

Financing was approved for $1,823,834 for buying vehicles and equipment and $2,265,094 for buying equipment for Public Works.

Proposals were received from seven financing agencies. Truist Bank won with a 3.750% interest rate on both financings. Proposed rates varied from 5.01% to the next lowest of 4.1047%.

The commissioners also approved the closing of the 2016 Buxton Beach Nourishment Capital Project. The account was “kept open to serve as the budget source for the five years of required project monitoring.” Earned interest income totaled $221,825 which was transferred to the Beach Nourishment Fund “to increase funds available for future projects,” states the board’s agenda book.

Next, the county’s Capital Improvement Plan for 2023 included $800,000 for the replacement of a cooling tower at First Flight High and an air handler at Cape Hatteras Secondary. After the school system’s procurement process, the total price was $1,158,000, some $358,000 over budget.

Dare County finance director David Clawson recommended drawing down the state lottery fund for the overage amount of $358,000. After the draw, the lottery fund balance for Dare County at June 30 is $371,979. The commissioners agreed.