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Boswell balks at proposed $3 million line of credit

By Staff
REDRAWING DISTRICTS Lauderdale County District 1 Supervisor Hank Florey studies proposed county redistricting plans Thursday. Supervisors plan to approve new supervisor districts by the end of February. Photo by Marianne Todd / The Meridian Star
By Chris Allen Baker/staff writer
Jan. 4, 2002
A proposal to borrow up to $3 million for equipment needs, land purchases and elevator improvements met staunch opposition Thursday from Lauderdale County Supervisor Ray Boswell.
Boswell, who represents District 5, told county administrator Rex Hiatt and other supervisors that he will fight efforts to open a line of credit to fund future projects.
Hiatt outlined the proposal for county supervisors during the work session. Supervisors could act on the proposal at their next formal meeting on Monday.
If approved, the county would establish a $3 million line of credit with the Mississippi Development Bank a fund administered by the Mississippi Development Authority.
The county then could draw money at taxpayer expense to fund such projects as $300,000 in renovations to a courthouse annex elevator, $1 million in equipment needs and future land purchases for industrial property.
Hiatt's proposal is similar to one Meridian city councilmen are expected to consider on Tuesday. Meridian's plan would create a $10 million line of credit to fund unspecified projects.
Hiatt said the county could legally borrow funds from the Development Bank at about a 2.95 percent interest rate. The loan could be re-paid with available cash only, he said, meaning that the county could not levy a tax.
Hiatt said the county must meet certain requirements to open the line of credit.
Supervisors must adopt a resolution and public notice must be published in a local newspaper. A public hearing would be held and petitions could be submitted from the public voicing opposition or support and possibly require a countywide election.
If a line of credit is successfully opened, Hiatt said, supervisors would have to authorize a loan for each specific project.

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