Valdosta Daily Times

Local News

April 7, 2013

Loan info from GEFA contradicts City

$11 million awaits disbursement, loan amounts don’t match

VALDOSTA — Current loan history for the City of Valdosta from the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority (GEFA) directly contradicts information recently presented to the public by the City, and shows an active GEFA loan of more than $11 million, which was not previously released.

According to Deputy City Manager of Administration Mark Barber, a loan coded 92003SW (SW indicating the loan is purposed for “solid waste” projects) was split into two parts, $1 million paid off earlier and a $250,000 portion of it paid off in March.

The Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) for the 2012 fiscal year, which Barber developed and delivered to the City Council March 21 shows 92003SW maintaining a balance of $34,984 in June of 2012, and Barber removed the loan from the spreadsheet before giving it to the Times, which appeared in Monday’s edition as well as today, saying it had been paid off.

The CAFR also mentions on page 67 that the balance for a loan coded 2006-L53WJPHII was $2,823,855 in June 2012, and that “additional draws are pending,” but does not go into detail about how much remains to be disbursed. A chart on the same page shows loan totals and payment periods over which the loans are due.

Information on these loans from GEFA is not consistent with the CAFR in these cases.

The City of Valdosta has applied to draw loan money from the organization for 26 years, starting with a water quality (WQ) loan in the amount of $1 million, with an execution date (the date the official paperwork was signed) of January 1987. The interest rate for that loan was 6 percent, and the money was used for “sewer plant improvements,” according to GEFA.

A second loan was taken out in October 1991 in the amount of $2 million for a water supply (WS) issue, which was spent on a “water plant and water lines,” according to GEFA. The interest rate on this loan was 6.7 percent.

As of March 31, 2013, these two loans are the only loans out of 10 that have been paid off completely. The City still owes an outstanding principal balance of $22,193.95 on the 92003SW loan, which was not split into two parts.

However, a loan coded 2006L53WJ (for “water-joint,” indicating a joint water and wastewater project), shows an execution date of December 2007 for an award in the amount of $24,097,000. This loan was split into two parts, its counterpart named 2006L53WJB (as in “loan B” under the same code).

A portion in the amount of $7,410,611.20 was broken from the original award to allow the City to begin the repayment period, leaving the remaining WJB portion of $16,686,388.80 available for spending, according to GEFA.

Repayment periods normally do not begin until construction for the intended project has ended or the loan completely spent, said GEFA Public Affairs Director Shane Hix, but during this period, the loan will accrue construction interest.

There remains $11,316,776.41 to be disbursed to the City from the WJB loan, according to GEFA. Both the WJ and WJB loans are intended to fund nine rehabilitation projects, including a two-million-gallon water storage tank, water mains, service lines, lift stations and fire protection.

In addition to these inconsistencies between City and GEFA records, four loan amounts listed in the FY2012 CAFR do not match the loan amounts in GEFA documents.

The WS loan for $2 million is listed in the CAFR as $2,228,600; the WJ loan of more than $7.4 million is listed as $7,553,410; a loan coded DW97036P (DW for “drinking water” issues) in the amount of $4.8 million is listed as $4,288,164; and a fourth loan coded CW08003ARRA (CW short for “Clean Water State Revolving Fund”) in the amount of $6 million is listed as $6,142,659.

The CW loan (also coded ARRA for “American Recovery and Reinvestment Act”) was originally taken out in the amount of $10 million, but $4 million of that original amount was forgiven, according to GEFA.

The remaining five loan accounts printed in the City’s CAFR perfectly match repayment amounts and dates of maturity listed in GEFA records. However, the loan amount listed in the CAFR for the DW loan does not match the spreadsheet given to the Times, which lists the loan at $2,351.80 less.

Loan SW was drawn to construct a recovery facility and equipment for recyclable materials; the four CW loans, including CW08003ARRA, were intended to increase the capacity of the Mud Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant from 3.2 million gallons per day (MGD) to 5.7 MGD and to improve the sewer system; and the DW loan was intended for the replacement of 30 miles of undersized galvanized steel water mains with a minimum of six-inch diameter PVC lines.

Loans from GEFA are set up for automatic withdrawal during their repayment periods, Hix said. It is not possible for communities with GEFA debt not to reach complete payment.

Hix mentioned “nothing out of the ordinary” has happened in the City’s relationship with GEFA, that the City’s “financial audits are in good shape,” and that Valdosta is “one of our better customers.”

He could not answer as to why the City’s accounting of the loans and information provided to the public is inconsistent with the official records kept by GEFA.

Text Only
Local News
  • election.jpg Black earns most votes in runoff

    State Rep. Ellis Black led the votes for state Senate District 8 Friday with seven of seven counties reporting certified results, according to the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140724-LAT1.jpg Little Actors Theatre ready for summer show

    Since 2004, the Little Actors Theatre has provided a place for children ages 6 to 19 to express themselves through acting.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • 072414-MichelleNunn003.jpeg Michelle Nunn visits Valdosta

    The day after learning that her Republican challenger would be David Perdue, Democratic U.S. Senate hopeful Michelle Nunn kicked off her Common Sense and Collaboration Tour Wednesday by meeting with business owners in Atlanta, Athens and Macon and continued her tour Thursday morning by visiting the David S. Waller Unit facility of the Boys and Girls Club of Valdosta.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • lunch.jpg Valdosta One Lunch feeds summer-hungry kids

    Hunger is a concept that many people associate with third-world countries, not their hometown. However, in Valdosta, hunger is real. To combat this hunger, a group of Valdostans have created Valdosta One Lunch, a program that distributes bagged meals to children in need.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • thumbs up.jpeg Moody squadron commander reaches milestone

    The 75th Fighter Squadron commander hit a career milestone July 17, by surpassing 3,000 flight hours in an A-10C Thunderbolt II.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • water.jpg New equipment expected to deal with Lowndes water violations

    The Lowndes County Commission’s recent approval of $1.6 million for water-treatment equipment is expected to counter a past series of water-quality violations within the county.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • 142314-Goodwill.jpg Goodwill hosts the Mexican Consulate

    Mexican citizens living in South Georgia have spent this week lining up at the Valdosta Goodwill to meet with the Mexican Consulate to obtain Mexican government issued identification.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140723-Tree001.jpg Chamber plants 100th centennial tree

    Founded in September 1912, the Valdosta-Lowndes County Chamber of Commerce is one of the largest chambers in the state.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140723 - Operation M#10E3C7.JPG Veterans First

    With Moody Air Force Base expecting to lose 300 to 400 personnel due to government cutbacks, area organizations are working with military personnel about to enter the civilian work force.

    July 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • Lowndes increases millage rate

    For the first time since 1999, the Lowndes County Commission voted Wednesday to increase the millage rate.

    July 24, 2014

Top News

School starts again in about two weeks. What do you think?

It's still summer. School starts too soon.
Seems like the right time to return.
Abolish summer recess. Make school year-round.
     View Results