The Local Government Commission took action involving entities in the following counties: Cabarrus, Carteret, Forsyth, Haywood, Mecklenburg, Rowan and Rutherford.
Wednesday, March 6, 2024

Population Growth Cited for Financing Requested by Haywood County, Huntersville

Local Government Commission Approves Bonds Issuance for County Jail, Town Hall
Raleigh, NC
Mar 6, 2024

Huntersville can move forward on new town hall construction to consolidate most of the town’s non-police employees in more efficient and modern workspace after the Local Government Commission (LGC) voted unanimously to approve the town’s issuance of $32 million in limited obligation bonds. 

At the same LGC meeting, on March 5, the commission gave Haywood County the go-ahead to issue $28.5 million in limited obligation bonds needed to expand its county jail and detention center. 

The LGC is chaired by State Treasurer Dale R. Folwell, CPA, and staffed by the Department of State Treasurer (DST). It 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 that 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. 

Huntersville, located in north Mecklenburg County, said it needs a new town hall to provide adequate workspace for the growing town workforce. The town has a population of 63,035, according to 2023 U.S. Census estimates, making it the 15th most populous municipality in North Carolina. In 2010 it had 46,773 residents, according to Census numbers. 

The town will use the bond money to construct a 54,500-square-foot, four-story Town Hall on NC 115, behind the current Town Hall. The existing building will be repurposed into a community center for meetings and events.

Haywood County will use its bond money to expand its detention facility and make renovations necessary to bring it up to date. The county population stands at about 63,000 residents, a rise of 4,000 people from 2010 to 2023, according to Census data. The need for more jail space followed, with the facility having operated at capacity for years. The project calls for 155 new beds. A new security system will be installed as part of the upgrades. A property tax increase is expected.

Among other items on the agenda at Tuesday’s meeting, LGC members gave a thumbs up to the city of Concord (Cabarrus County) to issue $25 million in revenue bonds. Proceeds will be used to improve the town’s water, wastewater and electric systems. Hillgrove Water Treatment Plant enhancements are part of the proposed work. Future water and sewer rate increases are anticipated. 

The LGC gave a green light to the town of Beaufort (Carteret County) for interim financings totaling more than $18 million for infrastructure improvements. These financings will be replaced later by U.S. Department of Agriculture-issued revenue bonds with 40-year terms. One project, estimated at $15 million, is intended to renovate and replace parts of the town’s water distribution system and sewer collection system. Deteriorated water lines, nonfunctioning hydrants and valves would be replaced. Some water lines are 70 years old, with others installed a century ago. Leaking and damaged sewers will be eliminated or replaced. A separate, $3 million project will replace old stormwater pipes and associated structures that are aging and in poor condition, causing frequent flooding, damaged streets and contamination issues.

The North Carolina Housing Finance Agency received LGC approval for $13.2 million in revenue bonds. Proceeds will pay for the acquisition, rehabilitation and equipping of a 10-acre site with 76 apartment units in 11 buildings known as Cabarrus Arms in Kannapolis (Cabarrus and Rowan counties). LIH Kimberly Ridge Preservation, LP, a for-profit entity from Seattle, Wash., would borrow the funds to develop the project.

LGC members approved an application from Inlivian Housing Authority (Mecklenburg County) to issue $11.5 million in conduit revenue bonds. That type of financing allows the authority to loan proceeds to a third party. Ballantyne Housing, LLC will be loaned the money to finance part of the cost to acquire, build and equip a 60-unit, low- and moderate-income multifamily rental housing development known as Evoke Living at Ballantyne in Charlotte.

The city of Charlotte (Mecklenburg County) plans to enter into a long-term lease on a 22,961-square-foot building to house Charlotte Water operations. The LGC approved nearly $4 million in financing to consolidate water divisions into one centrally located office in the West Service Zone.

Pembroke (Robeson County) received LGC approval for approximately $2.3 million in financing. An installment purchase of $1.4 million would allow the town to refinance a loan for recreation complex work to save interest costs. That type of financing allows the municipality to make payments over time instead of paying all costs at once with borrowed money. An $865,625 request will pay for a maintenance contract for radio-controlled water meters and meter-reading equipment to track water usage more efficiently.

The town of Kernersville (Forsyth County) will move forward on multiple projects after LGC members gave the go-ahead for a $2.5 million installment purchase. The work includes paving, structural improvements to the Kernersville Museum, and roof replacements on Town Hall and an equipment shed.

Forest City (Rutherford County) won LGC approval of a $650,000 lease-to-purchase agreement for a truck that will be used at sewer pump stations during heavy rains to reduce flooding and could speed up repairs and replacement of water and sewer lines, among other uses.