Thursday, February 9, 2023 - 00:00

Local Government Commission Approves Financing for 220-Bed Wayne County Jail

Rowan County West End Plaza Renovations, Nags Head and Kernersville Requests OK’d
Raleigh, NC
Feb 9, 2023

(Raleigh, N.C.) – Wayne County will build an additional jail facility to connect with the Carey Winders Detention Center Annex built in 2016, and replace the Wayne County Detention Center built in 1994.

The Local Government Commission (LGC) approved $55 million in financing for the project on Tuesday, Feb. 7. It will be structured through an installment purchase contract that allows the county to make partial payments over time instead of paying all of the debt up front. The county decided that would be a more timely method to construct the facility than pursuing a general obligation bond that would have to pass a public referendum. Debt service on the bank loan would be paid through the General Fund and no tax increase is anticipated.

The new 62,090-square-foot building would hold 220 beds. County officials said the facility is needed because the seven-story Wayne County Detention Center is in need of electronic, surveillance and internet modernization that are financially impractical due to its older structural design. The existing facility housed 127 inmates when it opened, but has had a population as high as 258. There are plans to use the old building for office space. 

The LGC, chaired by State Treasurer Dale R. Folwell, CPA, and staffed by the Department of State Treasurer, has a statutory duty to approve most debt issued by units of local government and public authorities in the state. The commission examines whether the amount of money units borrow is adequate and reasonable for proposed projects and confirms the governmental units can reasonably afford to repay the debt. It also monitors the financial well-being of more than 1,100 local government units.  

A request for approval from Rowan County for a $28.6 million installment purchase contract also was on the agenda and was given a thumbs up. The money will be used to renovate and convert a portion of the county-owned West End Plaza into a 1,000-seat meeting room. The remake will include associated conference rooms, storage and a warming kitchen. Prior tenant spaces in what once was known as the Salisbury Mall will be converted to use as agricultural center offices. The county bought the property 10 years ago for $3.4 million.

LGC members gave a green light to Nags Head (Dare County) for $19.9 million in limited obligation bonds to build a new public services complex, and replace manually read residential and commercial water meters with modern smart meters. A tax increase of 4 cents per $100 of property valuation is expected. Limited obligation bonds are issued for revenue-producing projects.

The town of Kernersville (Forsyth County) received approval for a $17.75 million financing agreement to build a two-story, 52,430-square-foot recreation and events center on 17 acres of town-owned land. The facility will house parks and recreation department administrative offices, have three full-length basketball courts, several multipurpose rooms and a stage, and will be able to accommodate other sports and activities. Part of the money will be used for street paving projects on town-owned roads. No tax increase is anticipated.

The LGC signed off on $512,076 in a State Revolving Fund loan to Yadkin Valley Sewer Authority (Surry and Wilkes counties) to purchase new backup generators for four sewer pump stations. The standby equipment is needed for reliability during the loss of power supply due to windstorms, hurricanes, earthquakes and other natural disasters. Future revenues are expected to cover the cost of operations and debt service.

LGC members approved requests from the Durham Housing Authority and Inlivian (formerly known as the Charlotte Housing Authority, Mecklenburg County) for conduit revenue bonds to provide affordable housing.

With Inlivian as a conduit, Charlotte Leased Housing Associates can access a loan for up to $30 million in tax-exempt bonds to acquire, build and equip 150 units in a multifamily rental housing development to be known as Creekridge on the Park Apartments. Unit rents will be restricted to families making 60% or less of the area’s median income.

The Durham Housing Authority will be a conduit for Cedar Trace Durham, LLC to access a loan up to $22.73 million in tax-exempt bonds to acquire, build and equip a 180-unit multifamily rental housing development to be known as Cedar  Trace. Rent restrictions will limit occupancy to families earning either 60% or 30% of the area’s median income.