PHOTO: Left to Right: Fire Chief Scott Spencer; ACCG Executive Director Ross King; County Administrator Eric Linton; Commission Chairman Tom Worthan; District 3 Commissioner Mike Mulcare; Deputy Fire Chief Kim Ransom
DOUGLAS COUNTY “BURNS THE MORTGAGE” ON THE BLAKE GAMMILL BUILDING TO BECOME DEBT-FREE
Douglas County became one of the very few counties in the State of Georgia – if not the only one – who can proudly say they are debt-free after “burning the mortgage” on the Blake Gammill Building Monday, December 16th.
Douglas County entered into an agreement with Association County Commissioners of Georgia’s Leasing Program in May 2003 to lease/purchase the Blake Gammill Building. The Program paid for the $6,785,000 in construction funds and the County paid ACCG 3.32% interest over 10 years for a total of $8,328,421.67, making the final annual payment on December 1st, 2013.
The Blake Gammill Building was constructed for use as the Douglas County Sheriff’s Department Headquarters with some jail facilities, but has been converted during the past year to become the Douglas County Fire/EMS Department Headquarters and the County Records Department since the new Adult Detention and Law Enforcement Center opened in 2012.
The payment of this lease/purchase removes all long-term debt that is totally satisfied from tax revenues from the books of Douglas County. The Adult Detention and Law Enforcement Center debt is secured first by a Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax that is secondarily backed by tax revenues, but sales tax collections have been sufficient to make all debt payments; the SPLOST expires in 2016.
The ACCG Leasing Program raises funds to pay for Georgia county projects through the sale of ACCG securities in the financial marketplace or through direct bank loans. To participate, counties must meet stringent measures of financial stability, and must need the funds for essential county government purposes. Within the past five years, ACCG has participated and assisted with over $275 million of projects in Georgia.
Douglas County enjoys an enviable Aa2 bond rating from Moody’s and an AA- rating from Standard & Poor’s.
Douglas County Commission Chairman Tom Worthan thanked the Board of Commissioners for its conservative fiscal policies that keep the County is a strong and enviable financial position, including high service delivery with low taxes. ACCG Executive Director Ross King thanked the County for its participation in the program and for its continuing support of ACCG.