Council approves fire stations bid at 2.88 percent interest

  • Thursday, February 27, 2014

Stefan Rogenmoser/Gazette Clockwise from bottom left: Goose Creek Finance Director Ron Faretra, Councilmembers Jerry Tekac, Franklin Moore, Mark Phillips, Mayor Michael Heitzler, Councilmembers Marguerite Brown, John McCants, Mayor pro-tem Kimo Esarey and City Administrator Dennis Harmon attend the Feb. 18 special meeting.

Goose Creek city officials have all the approvals they need to go ahead with a loan that will pay for two new fire stations.

City officials are expected to close the deal on March 4.

At a special Goose Creek City Council meeting on Feb. 18 council voted to approve the second reading of an ordinance to borrow $7.5 million to purchase two new fire stations.

This was based on City Administrator Dennis Harmon’s recommendation.

“The numbers are very good,” Harmon said. “The financial corporation makes the bid. The corporation is the holding company.”

The city received three bids from three banks earlier that day.

Councilmember Jerry Tekac abstained from the discussion and voting on which bank to choose because he is employed by NBSC, one of the bidders. Harmon said Tekac did the proper thing.

BB&T’s bid was the lowest with an interest rate of 2.88 percent and a 15-year term, Harmon said.

Suntrust offered a 2.92 percent interest rate and payments at anytime with adjustments.

NBSC offered a 3.5 percent interest rate with 10-year financing, Harmon said.

Harmon’s recommendation was BB&T. After a vote by five of the six councilmembers and Mayor Michael Heitzler, the bid was awarded to BB&T.

“They will buy the bonds,” Harmon said. “We anticipate BB&T will hold the bond to term.

“This is a momentous occasion that we’re building a new fire station headquarters and substation. It’s a 14-month construction period. We hope to be up and running with that facility by mid-2015, no later than third quarter 2015.”

Citizen Dennis Wenger asked if the price includes fire engines and manpower.

The short answer to his question was no.

“The headquarters and training center is on property the city owns,” Harmon said. “The substation is on Old Mt. Holly Road. We need one pumper (truck). We will have it at that time. This contract does not include furnishing or personnel.

“It’s been a long time coming as far as the fire department is concerned. These will be first-class facilities.”

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