County commissioners lend support to Port Authority

Published: Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 10:25 AM.

The Board of County Commissioners wants a return on its loan to the Port Authority, but they are optimistic the money will come.

During Tuesday’s regular bi-monthly meeting, Port Authority chairman Leonard Costin came to commissioners to request consideration on a $200,000 loan the BOCC made to the Port Authority two years ago.

Though the first $10,000 payment is not due until next year, Costin asked if the county would consider extending the deadline for complete payment until 2021.

The Port Authority is due to make annual payments of $10,000 for six years beginning in 2014 and then pay off the balance in a balloon payment in 2021.

Costin said the Port Authority does not have the funds to pay the first payment.

Commissioner Carmen McLemore said he could not support extending the payment, saying the money is federal economic development money that other small businesses could use to build their businesses.

But, McLemore later noted, that payment was not due until next year and he, and his fellow commissioners, expressed a universal belief that something would likely change – given recent movement on port development – in the next year to leave the Port Authority in a position to meet the loan requirements.

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