VALDOSTA -- Lowndes County Commissioners approved a resolution Friday that will offer Lowndes and its cities an alternative form of financing public facility projects.

In the called meeting, County Attorney Walter Elliott reviewed the legislation drafted from the one recently adopted for Troup County by the Georgia General Assembly that will form a public facilities authority in Lowndes.

"The proposed authority for Lowndes County is essentially the same as an authority created by the General Assembly last year for Troup County, the county seat of which is LaGrange," Elliott said. "The authority proposed will provide a method of financing public facility projects that will be less expensive than other available methods."

The proposed legislation approved by the board sets specific responsibilities of the Authority and outlines the board members and their responsibilities. It also outlines the terms under which bonds may be issued.

"This Act shall not and does not in any way affect the right, power, or authority of any local government unit or any other political subdivision for municipality of the state to own, operate, or maintain public facilities or to issue revenue bonds as provided by the Revenue Bond Law."

The Commissioners discussed the feasibility of revenue bonds, which are at an all-time low, according to Chairman Rod Casey.

"This is a way to pay for projects that we have coming in the future," Casey said. "The bonds will be issued for the project, and now they are at a 40-year low. That is the main reason to use them."

Commissioners recently financed the Judicial Complex project with revenue bonds through the Central Valdosta Development Authority. The bonds were available through the CVDA because the property is located within the district.

Elliott said the Public Facility Authority will be available to issue tax-free bonds for public facilities in Lowndes County, including city as well as county projects. "Some of the projects for which the proposed authority could issue tax-free bonds are administrative office buildings, arts facilities, libraries, law enforcement facilities, fire stations and public works facilities."

The proposed local legislation will be sent to the General Assembly for review and possible establishment of the authority.



For information, citizens may contact Paige Dukes, Lowndes County's public information officer, at 292-6142.



To contact Tanya B. O'Berry, call 244-3400, ext. 239.

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