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Facilities authority reviews options
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Forsyth County News


The Forsyth County Public Facilities Authority continued to explore scenarios and learn more about its role in financing possible projects during its biannual meeting Monday.

The five-member board, which formed officially last fall, has the ability to act as a funding agent for public facilities.

The group has not yet exercised that power, but the financing of a proposed county animal shelter has been discussed, said County Attorney Ken Jarrard.

The shelter was on the list of projects for the recent voter-approved 1-cent sales tax extension.

“Right now, I don’t have any guidance from the board of commissioners with respect to any proposals in the works,” Jarrard said. “We all know there’s been discussion about the animal shelter, and that perhaps may be a potential first foray.”

Roger Murray, the county’s bond counsel, said a partner at his firm met with the shelter committee to explain financing options.

Murray explained in general how the authority could fund projects by issuing bonds, signing promissory notes at a bank or a “hybrid” of the two.

He also noted that the legislation allows the authority to work with any Forsyth County “political subdivision,” which could include commissioners, the board of education or the city of Cumming.

Jarrard added that the authority is an independent assembly, but without its own funding source.

“It’s almost inevitable you’ll be looking to the board of commissioners to assist with the mechanics of the deal by way of an income stream or the [intergovernmental agreements,]” he said.

The authority also discussed: competitive bids from banks in the case of seeking promissory notes; how much oversight to have on construction projects; and its relationship with the county.