The Nolan County Commissioners met for their regular meeting on Monday morning, Nov. 28, 2011 at the Nolan County Courthouse.
Two presentations were given regarding county capital improvement financing from Specialized Public Finance Inc. and Coastal Securities.
Two representatives with Specialized Public Finance Inc. gave a walk through of the financing process. Several parties are involved in the matter, including a financial advisor, bond counsel, an underwriter, paying agent, credit rating agency and credit enhancement companies.
The company also discussed the three possible methods in accessing the market: a competitive bid, negotiated sale and private placement. Three types of issued obligations were also presented to the commissioners.
The first, general obligation bonds or GOs, require an election. However, on even-numbered years, bond elections can only be held in May. Certificates of obligation, or COs, initially do not require an election but a series of events could force a vote.
Tax notes, the final obligation noted as the simplest, does not call for an election but have to be paid within a seven-year period. The timeline and process for all three obligations were presented to the commissioners.
Specialized Public Finance also presented, for informative purposes, a scenario of an $11 million bond issue and the steps the county would take in payments. They also cited the potential impact on Nolan County homeowners should the county take steps toward obtaining a bond.
The company was incepted three years ago and has three offices in Lubbock, Dallas and Austin. They presented their client base to the commissioners, which also includes jail-based clients--as the county is currently considering the construction of a new law enforcement center--such as Scurry County.
They also discussed briefly on reimbursement resolution, which is of concern largely in part to the current repairs taking place at the Courthouse. Reimbursement resolution allows for any incurred costs within the timeline of 60 days to be paid back.
A spokesman with Coastal Securities also gave a presentation of their company, highlighting the people, process and paperwork involved while also giving an overview of the company. The Houston-based company has recently expanded into Austin and has worked with Mitchell County with their new jail construction.
The representative spoke on the available options for the county and the debt issue process. About 12 people would take part in the financing team which would assist the county. In addition, the architects and engineers of the respective projects would be involved in the process.
Furthermore, the company does have underwriters in their business. However, they would not be able to be selected by the county if Coastal Securities became the county's advisor.
The financing alternatives--COs, GOs and tax notes--are also available through Coastal Securities in which a summary of each process was given. Preparation of the transaction, legal documentation, timing and the conclusion of the process were all briefly summarized. Possible scenarios, should the county take action, were also presented.
Upon the presentations, the commissioners tabled several issues during the meeting in order to meet with the county attorney before making a decision. Later on Monday morning, approval was given for an agreement with Specialized Public Finance Inc. to provide professional financial advisory services to the county.
In addition, an order exempting the purchase of professional financial advisory services for the repairs at the Courthouse were approved. A bond counsel agreement with Bickerstaff Heath Delgado Acosta L.L.P was approved as well, along with a reimbursement resolution for the incurred costs for the Courthouse repairs.
Also during the meeting, a brief public hearing was held on taxation of Goods-in-Transit. The public hearing was enacted by recent legislation to take place before the taxing continues, though no public input was given.
Once the public hearing was closed and regular business reopened, approval was given to continue the taxation of the Goods-in-Transit resolution.
Several appointments and reappointments to various county entities were also considered at the meeting. Approval was given for Dale Finch to serve on the Nolan County Central Appraisal District Board of Director, and Norman Ashford was appointed as the assistant manager of the Nolan County Coliseum.
Mr. Ashford was recommended by the Nolan County Coliseum board following an application process which placed him among two other finalists for the position. However, his new position will replace the position of a Coliseum worker.
In addition, two reappointments were made to the County-City Library Board. Mrs. Rudy Thomas and Mr. Joe Rivera were approved to continue serving in their respective positions on the board.
Furthermore, the sole bid that was submitted for a mowing tractor for Precinct 2 was accepted and awarded to Abilene New Holland. A $5000 bond was also approved by the commissioners for County Auditor Judy Kasper.
The commissioners additionally approved an annual membership renewal with the State of Texas Cooperative Purchasing program. The burn ban in Nolan County was approved to remain in effect for the next two weeks as well.
Also approved were the minutes from the meetings held on November 10, 14 and 18. Two reports--from the Nolan County Sheriff's Office and Welfare Office--were received and approved.