County to seek bond for landPublished 12:15am Thursday, May 2, 2013
NATCHEZ — Now that Adams County has a binding contract with Rentech to buy the former International Paper property, the county has to begin the process of getting the money to pay for the purchase.
When the contract was made public earlier this week, officials with the county’s economic development body, Natchez Inc., said the 478-acre tract is important to future economic development not only as an industrial site but because the former IP wastewater treatment facility can be brought back online to treat industrial waste water from the Natchez-Adams County Port area.
The county will make the $9 million purchase with a bond.
Adams County’s Bond Attorney, Sam Keyes, said the first step in that process will be for the board of supervisors to adopt an intent resolution, which will then be published in the newspaper.
“I am in the process of preparing that intent resolution now, and if I get all the information ready, this is hopefully something the board will consider putting on their agenda during one of their meetings in May,” Keyes said.
“That will be published, giving folks an opportunity to check that out, and assuming there is no formal, written protest asking or requiring an election to be held, they will move forward with the next step.”
Keyes said most of Adams County’s bond offerings are subject to such requirements and that Adams County residents could have called a bond election before, but have not.
“That’s not something that’s available for all bond issues, but for most bond issues and virtually everything Adams County has issued over the years, there is an opportunity for petitions to be filed by the electorate to ask that an election be held on the issue,” he said.
Adams County Board of Supervisors President Darryl Grennell said in the 17 years he has been on the board no one has asked for a bond referendum for work the county planned to do.
If the referendum is called, voters will decide if the county can issue the bond, but if no such referendum occurs, the board can adopt outright bond offering documents, a process that Keyes said takes approximately 60 days.
After that, the board will have the opportunity to review and award bond bids.
“Interest rates are incredibly low right now, so odds are pretty good that they will get a good interest rate,” Keyes said. “They will award the sale of the bonds to the bidder who has the lowest interest cost for the county, and then we will start the validation process.”
The validation process, which is conducted through the chancery court system, takes another two to three weeks to review, Keyes said, but after the bonds have been validated the sale can be closed.
Grennell said the supervisors have not set a date for which they aim to close the sale.
“We just got the word this week that Rentech accepted our offer, so we don’t have a set target date yet,” he said.
The supervisors will meet Monday. Keyes and Grennell said they were unsure if the intent resolution would be on the agenda for that meeting.