News Column

City set to approve borrowing $8 million for Georgia Regents University research center

February 18, 2014

By Susan McCord, The Augusta Chronicle, Ga.



Feb. 18--An $8 million loan to help Georgia Regents University build a cancer research center and repay using future sales tax collections goes for Augusta Commission approval Tuesday.

The loan, a tax anticipation note issued in advance of the city's next special purpose local option sales tax, needs approval now to make a July state deadline to bank matching funds for the GRU construction project, city Deputy Finance Director Tim Schroer told commissioners at a recent meeting.

Besides briefly discussing the loan last week, the mayor and commission have done little to narrow down a $741 million wish list of projects scheduled to go before voters May 20.

Mayor Deke Copenhaver said the likelihood of a referendum passing goes down if the amount is above $200 million, but the wish list continues to include items such as competing water parks and multiple performing arts facilities.

With commission approval of a package needed next month to include the referendum on the ballot, Commissioner Bill Lockett said the tax package must have more time and wants to delay the vote until November.

"The degree of urgency is obviously not well thought out," Lockett said.

Also included on the meeting agenda is a discussion of the ongoing relief effort in response to last week's ice storm.

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(c)2014 The Augusta Chronicle (Augusta, Ga.)

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Source: Augusta Chronicle (GA)


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