BOCC, Port Authority finalize loan

Published: Thursday, August 21, 2014 at 09:50 AM.

The Board of County Commissioners and Port St. Joe Port Authority last week settled the details of a loan that will provide the Port Authority some relief from day-to-day financial pressures.

And for the second time, during a pair of special meetings, no mention was made by either body of the Port Authority’s request for additional funds, a request made with a comment from Port Authority member Eugene Raffield that the extra dollars would indicate whether the BOCC was “supporting or axing” the Port Authority.

County commissioners even expressed reservations about the deal on the table.

That would expand a current loan to the Port Authority of $199,000 by $120,000 over the next two years with an interest of 3 percent on the package.

The loan would also push a first payment out three years; the current timetable as the Port of Port St. Joe operational within three years.

In return for the loan, the first-year dollars of which will be available to the Port Authority this week upon completion of documents, the Port Authority agreed to put the BOCC in the first mortgage position on the previously unencumbered former Arizona Chemical site.

The Port Authority also agreed it would not fight any foreclosure by the BOCC on the basis of not having the authority to mortgage public property, its defense in a recent foreclosure case with Capital City Bank concerning the port’s former bulkhead property.

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