White Stone sewer project financing expected

by Lisa Hinton-Valdrighi

WHITE STONE—During a special meeting last Thursday, the White Stone Town Council authorized Mayor Randy Reeves and town manager Patrick Frere to sign contract documents regarding an interim financing/bridge loan for the town’s public sewer project.

Councilman William Hubbard moved to adopt an interim finance resolution allowing Reeves and Frere to close on the loan before the end of the year. Blair Kenyon seconded the motion, which passed unanimously, 4-0. Voting in favor were Kenyon, Hubbard, Irving Brittingham and Paul Elbourn. Council members Joe Sliakis, Drew Hubbard and Kelli Blankenship were absent.

Council tabled a vote on the resolution at its December 1 meeting pending further review of the documents by town attorney Matson Terry.

According to Frere, the resolution was three pages of an 80-page credit agreement packet. The resolution allows Frere and Reeves to sign the closing paperwork on behalf of the council. The resolution was basically a formality, according to Frere, who said “it had to be approved” as part of the paperwork.

Council hopes to close on an interim financing/bridge loan with CoBank of Denver, Colo., before December 31, 2016. The loan of up to $807,000 would allow the town to pay its engineering firm for work done in the early stages of the sewer project. It would be repaid when the town receives a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development Program.

In other business, Frere told council it should begin the reapplication process for a downtown revitalization grant in January. The governor announced recipients of Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) block grants in October and White Stone was not on the list of 13 Virginia municipalities receiving grant money. According to Frere, White Stone was 14th on the list.

Council will discuss the block grant application further at its January 5 meeting. Related public hearings are slated January 5, February 2 and March 2.