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Bad news on restructuring LCWSA debt

he first of up to three financial advisors to be consulted by the Lamar County water authority had bad news for any possible debt restructuring ‘“ bond issues would more than likely result in a higher interest rate than the authority is paying now. Tim Grogg of Cybergov Consultants gave his assessment to general manager Amberly Ferris the morning of the Feb. 22 meeting. Before starting his consulting company 10 years ago, Grogg was with the Georgia Environmental Facilities Authority for 15 years, including serving as its chief financial officer. ‘I felt like I was getting good information,’ said Ferris. ‘GEFA is run more like a bank now than what it was originally enacted to do.’ With payments already made toward three loans ‘“ one from GEFA at 0% and two from GEFA and the U.S. Department of Agriculture at a little over 4% each ‘“ taken into account, Grogg estimated the authority’s total debt at $7,198,396. Including payments on the upcoming GEFA loan, total debt payments for 2011 will be $418,908. By 2012 they will total $442,335 a year. The USDA is paid $16,980 monthly and the GEFA loans are paid quarterly but a month apart, with the March and April payments being $43,000 each.

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