by Madison White Franks
LANCASTER—Representatives of Davenport & Company presented financing options for projected school construction projects last Thursday during a special called meeting of county supervisors and the school board.
Ted Cole and R.T. Taylor presented scenarios for building new schools at costs of $47 million and $80 million.
Cole said the county could borrow through the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Loan Program which offers fixed terms for 40 years, and which would result in the lowest annual payments.
He said an optimistic scenario would be the USDA assumed 100% of the projects financed through the loan program, and a conservative scenario would be USDA assumed 80% of the financing and 20% of the project would be financed through a direct bank loan obtained by the county.
Another option would be to use the Virginia Public School Authority (VPSA) Pooled Bond Program that issues bonds on behalf of Virginia local governments specifically for school projects. VPSA has a maximum term of 30 years.
Regardless of what option the county may choose, Cole said the county will accumulate a lot of interest. For the $47 million project, the maximum cost with interest would be $97.9 million with annual payments estimated at $2.6 million. For an $80 million project, the cost with interest would be $166.6 million with annual payments estimated at $4.4 million.
If the county were to put the proposed school project to a public referendum, it could help with financing, said Cole…