June 03--Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport officials estimate they can save $400,000 a year by refinancing revenue bonds first issued in 2004 for terminal renovation and expansion.
The bonds are being repaid with a passenger facilities fee of $4.50 per ticket. The original bond issue was $37.8 million. The Airport Authority proposes refinancing of the $27 million balance, with the bonds to be paid off by 2028, the same time the initial bond issue was scheduled to be retired.
The interest rate for the refinancing, by Hancock Bank, would be 3.10 percent -- a 1.75 percent savings, authority attorney Cy Faneca of Gulfport said.
The bond issue would include $185,000 in fees. Fees are $90,000 for bond attorneys from Brunini Grantham Grower & Hewes and Butler Snow law firms; $50,000 for general counsel Dukes, Dukes, Keating & Faneca; $40,000 for financial advisor Demery Grubbs of Government Consulting Inc. and $5,000 in trustee fees.
The Harrison County Board of Supervisors approved the bond refinancing Monday, with the Gulfport and Biloxi city councils expected to vote today. The Airport Authority Commission will consider refinancing at a meeting Wednesday. The county and cities each have a seat on the commission.
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