County seeks bond for KiOR levee work

Published 12:03am Wednesday, September 19, 2012

NATCHEZ — The Adams County Board of Supervisors is advertising its intent to take out a bond that will not exceed $7.5 million as part of the KiOR levee project.

The funds from the bond will be channeled toward the construction of a levee on the site of the former Belwood Country Club, where KiOR has announced its intentions to build an alternative fuel facility. The property floods during high water events on the Mississippi River, and the county committed to build a levee to protect the land as part of an economic recruitment deal with KiOR.

Board Attorney Scott Slover, to whom the supervisors deferred their comments, said that while the board has advertised its intent to take out as much as $7.5 million for the project, that number is actually a “doomsday scenario” in which cost estimates, grant funding, special loans and certain negotiations with the company all fall through.

The $7.5 million figure is actually a debt ceiling the supervisors set for the bond, saying they will not exceed that amount, rather than a commitment to spend that much, and Slover said the actual bond the county takes out may not actually amount to that much.

“We wanted to make sure if we are going to build the levee, there will be no problem getting the money for it,” he said.

The county is anticipating the levee will cost approximately $5 million, Slover said.

The supervisors have previously applied for $3 million special Capital Improvements Revolving Loan Program funding through the Mississippi Development Authority, which would be funded at interest rates lower than typical bonds.

Natchez Inc. Executive Director Chandler Russ said the local application for a grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration that could provide funding for the project was completed Tuesday.

The grant, which requires a 20-percent match, could provide as much as $4.7 million in funding, Russ said.

“While we feel like (the grant) is a long shot, we think the project fits square within (the EDA’s) guidelines and has merit, and we are cautiously optimistic,” he said. “We are going to pursue all avenues of funding in order to reduce our costs.”

Russ said he hopes to hear about the grant application within 30 days, but regardless of its outcome, the project will move forward.

“It is important to know our commitment to provide a levee to KiOR, and anything that we can continue to do to reduce our costs, we will seek that funding,” he said. “At the end of the day, we have to provide a levee for KiOR.”

Slover said the actual amount of the bond would ultimately be determined by how much grant funding and the amount of the MDA loan the county received.

The county has retained financial planner Demery Grubbs and bond attorney Sam Keys as part of the potential bond issuance.

 

 

 

 

  • Anonymous

    Don’t overlook the $3MM in port improvements in legal notices today’s paper.  We need to patent this money growing on trees stuff, it is contagious.

  • Anonymous

    Here a grant, there a grant, everywhere a grant grant!

  • http://www.natchezdemocrat.com khakirat

    Why can’t Russ get some earnest money from KIOR(at least half) so if these folks change their mind or go belly up the county taxpayers aren’t holding the bag!!! From what I have heard KIOR isn’t in too good of finacial shape so we better be cautious for we can’t afford another Intech deal!!! Hope Slover has everything in order to protect the taxpayers in case of anything good or bad happening in this deal! ND wished you would show how many jobs where people are actualy working at the present(drawing a paycheck) since Natchez Inc. opened shop up! 

  • Anonymous

    Khakirat, natcheznative and oldsouthgent- you ALL had good points right off-the-bat. ” The coins in the purse go ’round and ’round”.

  • Anonymous

    LET’S GO TO WORK.

  • Anonymous

    and THE DART lands on CORRUPTION street.  natchez will soon be the modern world’s new atlantis buried under the mississippi instead of under the atlantic.

  • Anonymous

    said it before and I’ll say it again: Is the Belwood property really worth 5 MILLION dollars? Not to mention the inevitable costly maintenance on the levee.

  • Anonymous

     Its no sweat, OSG, Bernanke can just print some more and send it our way.  Quantitative greasing…of palms.