Ritter won't run for reelection

Mitch Brigulio, a Senior Vice President with Davenport and Company and Moore County’s financial adviser, took the opportunity during the Moore County Commissioners’ Tuesday meeting to shed some light on the esoteric subject of bond premiums.

A bond premium is the amount by which the purchase price of a bond exceeds its PAR (or face) value. Bond premiums have been a topic recently in the discussions between commissioners and Moore County Board of Education looking for ways to fund the $2.68 million cost overrun on the new Southern Pines Elementary School.

The school district initially approached the commissioners to fund the excess, which the commissioners initially approved the necessary funds but later reassessed the situation and instructed the school board to complete the project within the authorized amount.

During discussions with the school board, it came to light that the county had received a total of $5.8 million in bond premiums on the Aberdeen and Southern Pines Schools, resulting in school board members asking if some of those funds could be used to cover the additional expenses of the Southern Pines School. 

According to Brigulio, bond premiums can be used for debt services or projects authorized by the original bond proposal. Moore County Manager Wayne Vest clarified that the funds can be used for a purpose that was specified in the bond referendum, subject to the commissioners’ approval.

When asked by Sandhills Sentinel if this meant that the premiums could be used to fund the cost overrun on Southern Pines Elementary if the commissioners authorized it, Vest responded “yes.”

The commissioners also requested that financing options be ready for the April 16 meeting for financing the additions to North Moore High School for an amount not to exceed $16.5 million.  Moore County Board of Commissioners Vice Chair Catherine Graham commented, “That is the maximum amount, and we are going to hold the school board’s feet to the fire.”

The commissioners also approved $78,500 to Davenport and Company for their services on obtaining the general obligation bonds for the Southern Pines School. The company was also involved in helping Moore County increase its credit rating with several credit rating companies.

In other business, the commissioners accepted an offer from Sandhills Community College for the transfer of their 8,000 square feet Westmore Center and accompanying 10 acre lot to the county for $1. The Westmore Center is located in Robbins and the college no longer uses it.

The commissioners also called two public hearings to discuss adding and removing road names from the Moore County Road Name and Addressing Ordinance and a request for rezoning on a 9.72 acre parcel of land on Gretchen Road in West End. Those hearings are scheduled for April 16 at 5:30 p.m.

The commissioners authorized the sending of a letter requesting the issuance of a commemorative stamp celebrating Donald Ross’s 150th birthday in 2022. Postal service regulations require the submission of requests for commemorative stamps be submitted three years in advance.

Donald Ross was born in Scotland but emigrated to America at the end of the 19th century. He was appointed the Golf Professional at Pinehurst Resort. He is credited with designing some of America’s great golf courses including Pinehurst No. 2.

The next regular scheduled Moore County Board of Commissioners’ meeting is scheduled for April 16 at 5:30 p.m.

Feature photo of county commissioners courtesy of Moore County.

 ~Written by Sandhills Sentinel Local News/Government Reporter Chris Prentice. 

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