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Commissioners look to save money on four of Stanly’s loans

In an effort to save the county money, the Stanly County Board of Commissioners passed a motion 5-1 earlier this month to consolidate and refinance several of the county’s loans.

The loans are from four banks with the following outstanding balances: Pinnacle ($3,668,031 for the emergency radio communication towers), Uwharrie ($1,570,000 for Stanly Community College’s cosmetology facility), First Bank ($2,503,250 for the Hilco Street EMS Base) and Truist ($5,473,685) Locust and Aquadale elementary school renovations).

At last month’s meeting, commissioners heard a presentation on consolidating four of the loans for an estimated gross savings of $1.077 million. The board asked county staff to contact each institution about savings in relation to reductions of the loan’s respective interest rates.

County Manager Andy Lucas advised the board proceed with a rate reduction for the Truist loan while refinancing and consolidating the remaining three loans. The First Bank loan’s term changed from 19 to 14 years.

The cost of going through the refinancing for the county is $27,000.

Lucas said if the numbers come back and the county “does not get the savings it wants, (commissioners) don’t have to move forward with the debt consolidation.”

Chairman Matthew Swain voted against the motion, saying a local bank tried to match the rate of a corporation from outside the county. He said he “didn’t think it was right to accept the lower rate at one bank and not the other.”

Swain also said the local bank “still has an opportunity to bid on the new consolidated loan,” but said “it just didn’t seem right at the time” to pass the motion.

Commissioner Bill Lawhon recused himself from the discussion and vote due to a conflict of interest.

About Charles Curcio

Charles Curcio was the sports editor of the Stanly News & Press from 1999-2001 and has currently served in the same capacity since 2008. He was awarded the NCHSAA Tim Stevens Media Representative of the Year and named CNHI Sports Editor of the Year in 2014. He has also been honored twice by the North Carolina Press Association.

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