The Thomaston City Council unanimously approved a $2.7 million loan from the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority (GEFA) at their meeting on June 16. The loan will be used to finance the Uptown/Downtown project the council approved in March.
The loan will finance replacing approximately four miles of failing water mains within the Hightower subdivision and Thomaston’s central commercial district. Thomaston will also install new hydrants, valves, service lines, and meters that will connect to the existing water mains in the project area.
During discussion, Mayor Hays Arnold asked if the loan has a forgivable amount in it.
City Manager Patrick Comiskey stated it does.
“This is a 20-year loan at half a percent interest,” he said, “with a half million dollars being forgivable if we use the entire balance.”
Mayor Pro Tem Doug Head stated that type of loan was astounding.
“When you look at a 20-year loan at a half a percent,” Head said, “and they’re giving back half a million dollars, it is just unbelievable.”
Council member Gary Atwater made a motion to approve the loan. Head seconded the motion and it was approved by a 5-0 vote.
In a related issue, the council also unanimously approved the first budget revision of the 2014 budget. Comiskey said it was needed to acknowledge the GEFA loan.
“This revision is being put forth to recognize the Uptown/Downtown project, which we just authorized the loan of $2.7 million,” Comiskey said. “Therefore, we have in here to recognize the $2.7 million in revenue and expenditures from GEFA.”
Council member J. D. Stallings made a motion to approve the revision. Council member Patsy Perdue seconded the motion and it was approved, 5-0.
Larry Stanford may be reached at 706-647-5414 or on Twitter @LarryStanford7.