BOCC, Port Authority agree on additional loan

Published: Thursday, July 31, 2014 at 09:53 AM.

“We have been begging the county for a while before we went out for proposals,” said Port Authority board member Jessica Rish.

After the Port Authority received a proposal, which in final form amounted to just under $500,000 to be drawn on over the next three to four years provided specific benchmarks to developing the Port of Port St. Joe were met, the BOCC raised concerns over a three-year-old $199,000 loan on which the first payment was delinquent.

“Technically we are in default,” Gibson said in answer to whether the BOCC could call the note.

In addition, Novak said, the loan – Community Development Block Grant dollars, not property taxes, originally sent to the county as assistance to Raffield Fisheries – was unsecured after Capital City Bank foreclosed on the port’s bulkhead property in April.

The primary asset of the Port Authority’s, the former Arizona Chemical site, is owned free and clear.

Both the BOCC and the private lender, Stuart Shoaf of St. Joe Natural Gas, wanted the first mortgage on the property.

Novak and Gibson differed as to whether the BOCC must be in the first position due to the CDBG loan.

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