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Supervisors hear TCSD bond refunding proposal

Refunding would reduce debt service payments

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Supervisors hear TCSD bond refunding proposal

Photo by Ken Odor Goochland County Administrator Rebecca Dickson outlines the proposed Tuckahoe Creek Service District Bond refunding proposal to the Board of Supervisors Monday night.

Goochland’s supervisors heard some good news Monday night, as County Administrator Rebecca Dickson unveiled a plan to restructure the Tuckahoe Creek Service District debt which reduces debt service payments.

The plan as outlined would reduce debt service payments every year for the next 23 years and would save the county about $4.2 million over the next 10 years, she said.

“Tonight this is the best scenario we can put before the board,” said Dickson, who said work had been underway on a plan for the last eight months.

The debt maturity would be extended for five years until 2040. The looming maximum annual debt service payments of about $8.7 million in the last eight years of the previous arrangement would drop about 30 percent, to about $6.1 million yearly.

The current low interest rate environment makes the refinancing possible, said Dickson in her presentation at the workshop meeting.

Dickson said the Virginia Resource Authority (VRA) Board has already approved the county’s request to refund the original 2002 bonds in a Sept. 11 resolution.

If the Board votes to approve the proposal at its October meeting bond pricing could take place on Oct. 25, said Dickson, before the election.

Under the proposed refunding the county would seek to hold the TCSD ad valorem tax rate at the current 32 cent level, said Dickson, as opposed to previous estimates that saw the levy projected to rise as high as 85 cents.

That was welcome news to Tina Beasley, who bought a home in the TCSD in 2010. “If I had pom-poms I’d cheer,” she said after Chairman Ned Creasey opened the workshop meeting to comment from the public.

Developer Tommy Pruitt also praised the plan. “I knew when you were elected you wanted to solve problems,” Pruitt told the Board.

“You might have pulled off a home run,” said Bob Marcellus, who said the county faced “a huge interest rate risk and this solves it.”

“It has been a very lengthy, exhausting process, but to be able to help relieve a burden that was so overwhelming, so overshadowing and that so divided the county citizens is very rewarding. With the debt payments under control for the next 20 plus years, we can focus our energy on growing the district,” said Dickson in a comment emailed to the Gazette. She also thanked District 1 Supervisor Ken Peterson and Deputy County Administrator John Wack for their work on the proposal.

Peterson said, “In my opinion, the debt associated with the Tuckahoe Creek Service District (TCSD), which was originally financed in 2002, needs to be restructured. Tonight our working group has put forth a specific debt refunding proposal for the Board of Supervisors to consider. The proposal seeks to lock in today’s lower interest rates and restructure the debt payments, which would provide additional time for development to occur within the Tuckahoe Creek Service District.”

The Board voted to add the bond refunding proposal to the evening session of its Oct. 2 meeting agenda.


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