The City of Dawsonville saved taxpayers approximately $684,000 last week by refinancing its water and sewer debt, according to local officials.
In a special called joint meeting on April 2 between city officials and members of its newly appointed Downtown Development Authority, the city refinanced $4.9 million of outstanding GEFA (Georgia Environmental Finance Authority) and USDA water and sewer loans through the issuance of Georgia revenue bonds, Series 2014.
The city received a very high credit rating, AA Stable from Standard and Poors, in connection with the refinancing, Mayor James Grogan said. The positive rating outcome will benefit the city going forward by enhancing its ability to obtain more favorable interest rates thereby resulting in lower borrowing costs and savings to the taxpayers in the future.
By completing the refinancing, the city saved approximately $1.95 million, or $684,000 on a present-value basis.
City Attorney Dana Miles asked DDA members to authorize the execution of a supplemental bond resolution and bond purchase agreement.
DDA member Keith Stone made a motion, seconded by Chris Gaines. Gaines is currently Dawsonvilles mayor pro-tem and holds a seat on the DDA.
The motion passed unanimously.
We were able to negotiate a five-year call instead of a six-year call, Miles said. What that means is after five years of payments, in 2019, if the city is in a position to pre-pay, it can pre-pay without penalty, which is a great thing.
Miles also noted that the bond sale will allow the city to spend $25,000 to $30,000 on other projects instead of servicing debt.
Grogan said a lot of hard work over the last two years has paid off.
The purpose is to do whats good for our city and for our citizens, he said. . . . Things dont come in big chunks, mostly bite-sized pieces. Weve been working on this a long time, and thankfully, we have a great attorney that worked with us, and we developed a relationship with Jimmy Ewing to get us to the point where we could take advantage of the savings.
Jimmy Ewing is a senior associate with Merchant Capital, an Atlanta-based investment banking firm that specializes in handling public finance.
Grogan also recognized the citys new DDA members: Colleen Sullivan-Simrell, Seanie Zapendorf, Chris Gaines, Phil Goodson, Jeremy Porter, Gordon Pirkle and Keith Stone.
I am overjoyed at our new DDA group, Grogan said. I think weve put together a group thats going to make things happen quickly in our city. Im really excited about that, and I know theyre excited to get started, jump in with both feet and get wet quick.