DARLINIGTON, S.C. - Darlington County government will end this fiscal year with all of its general obligation bond debt paid off.
The Darlington County Council voted unanimously Friday to approve a request from the Darlington County administrator to pay off the county’s general obligation bond debt early. The vote came during a special called meeting.
The current budget year ends on June 30.
The general obligation bond payoff for the county’s general fund is about $750,000 and $480,000 for the Darlington County Fire District fund, according to County Administrator Charles Stewart.
The funds to pay off the bonds are already on hand and specifically earmarked for that purpose, according to county officials.
The general fund bond will be paid off five months early and the fire district bond two years early, Stewart said.
The move will save the county money on interest payments, Stewart said, but a figure on the savings was not immediately available.
General obligation bond debt is long-term debt and paying it off early will leave the county in an improved financial position as a new budget year starts on July 1, officials said.
In another matter at Friday’s meeting, the council gave final approval to an ordinance amending the county’s budgeting and purchasing procedures to bring them more into line with those of surrounding counties. That vote, too, was unanimous.
Council members also met in an executive session to discuss, among other things, negotiations related to proposed contractual arrangements regarding a proposed $75 million industrial expansion involving an existing Darlington County industry.
The council is considering a proposed ordinance for a fee-in-lieu-of-taxes (FILOT) agreement between the county and the industry, identified by county officials at this point only as “Project Heat Wave.”
The investment will include primarily acquisitions of equipment and machinery, according to the ordinance, which states the acquisitions and improvements are estimated to cost at least $75 million over five years. No new jobs are associated with the project, according to supporting information. But the information states that the project is “critical to the company’s continuing presence in Darlington County.”
The council gave preliminary approval to the ordinance in June. A final vote on third reading is expected at the council’s next regular meeting on July 1.