Laurens County “Special Project”

Good News on Funding for Laurens County “Special Projects”

Laurens County received good news this week about the sale of bonds to finance the 16 Special Projects authorized by voters in last November’s referendum. Updating County Council Tuesday night on the process, County Attorney Sandy Cruickshanks indicated this was better than a home run, saying, “We have really hit this one out of the ballpark!”

One factor favoring Laurens County that Cruickshank noted is that Standard and Poor’s has moved Laurens County’s credit rating from single A to double A (AA).

There was also more interest in this bond sale that most of recent times. The County Attorney said while normally there will be 6 or 8 bidders interested in buying bonds, there were 14 bidders interested in this Laurens County bond.

Laurens County is to complete the transaction with the winning bidder next Thursday, June 17th.

Sandy Cruickshanks noted the interest rate Laurens County will pay for these bonds in below one percent – at 0.8%. Furthermore, when issuing bonds there is a formula where Laurens County will receive a “premium” back. He said this might have been expected to produce a premium of 4.2 to 4.4 million dollars – but Laurens County is expected to receive a premium of $4.7 million dollars from this bond.

We understand that this premium money, along with money received annually from the new sales tax, could generate enough revenue to pay the first two years debut service on the eight-year bond. This could reduce the amount of revenue needed from the second round of bonds, expected to be issued in a couple years.

This initial bond is to raise about $23.9 million.  A second bond was anticipated to be issued for some $10 million. The total amount approved to be acquired for the Special Projects is $35 million.

The projects listed first in the referendum last November are to be funded first. So, projects expected to begin soon include the Agriculture Center at the Fairgrounds in Laurens and the new Clinton Public Library.