JOHNSONVILLE, S.C. – The Johnsonville City Council approved the first reading Tuesday of an installment purchase revenue bond (IPRB) loan agreement with BB&T for financing of a new municipal complex.

The city plans to finance $2.1 million for a new municipal complex based on projections given from architects, according to Johnsonville City Administrator Jim Smith. This price includes architect fees and the fees required to construct the building.

The installment purchase revenue bond is a special financing vehicle set up by the legislature and has been used by municipalities throughout South Carolina, Smith said.

If a municipality is at its debt limit, Smith said, the IPRB will allow it to issue revenue bonds that are outside the debt limit. According to Smith, the city felt an IPRB was best to finance the municipal complex.

“It turns out that we got a very attractive rate from BB&T to be able to do this,” Smith said. “So we’re going to go forward, and it takes two readings.”

There is a 3.16% interest rate.

The council is expected to vote on the second reading of the ordinance on Tuesday to determine if it wants to go forward with the purchase. Once the ordinance is accepted, the city can move forward with the financing, Smith said.

“We’re going to try to work that out with a bid proposal, and that will all be done over the next 30 to 60 days, and then the building will start to be constructed,” Smith said.

Once construction begins, Smith said he believes the building process should take six to eight months to be complete.

The new municipal complex is expected to be located on Broadway Street on the site where an IGA grocery store once was. Johnsonville Mayor Steve Dukes said in his progress report in the Morning News’ 2019 Progress edition that the new municipal complex will include offices for the city’s water and wastewater treatment departments and administrative staff. An emergency operations center, to be used during natural disasters, is also expected to be housed in the building, in addition to city council chambers that can be used as a courtroom or large meeting room.

Johnsonville Downtown Development Director David Mace will be the city’s project manager for the new municipal complex, Smith said.

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