Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Lafayette Supervisors Consider $13M Bond for County Projects

By Alyssa Schnugg
News editor

The Lafayette County Board of Supervisors is considering issuing a bond for $13 million that would help pay for renovations of the sheriff’s department and extend George G. “Pat” Patterson Parkway.

It would also mean a 1.63 millage increase on ad valorem taxes.

The county’s millage rate is currently 36.98. It has remained the same since 2017.

The supervisors met Wednesday morning during a recessed meeting to look over the numbers on what it would cost the county and its citizens to borrow the $13 million.

Using an estimated interest rate of 3%, the county’s yearly payment for the 20-year loan would be $867,000.

The 1.63 mill increase would cost homeowners $16.30 per $100,000 of the property’s assessed value. For example, a home assessed at $200,000 would see a $32.60 increase in their taxes.

No vote was taken Wednesday by the Supervisors as the meeting was to review the information and discuss options.

If the Supervisors move forward with the bond, the funds would go toward renovations to the Lafayette County Detention Center, former Justice Court building and the former DHS building.

Currently, the Sheriff’s Department is housed in the same building as the Detention Center. The DHS building will eventually become the new home for the sheriff’s department, leaving more room inside the detention center for potential growth and future renovations.

During the meeting, County Administrator Lisa Carwyle said even if the bond was issued today, it will take two to three years before the renovations are complete.

The old Justice Court building will be used as a training center for deputies and investigators.

A good chunk of the borrowed funds – more than $6 million – would go toward extending the Pat Patterson Parkway (formerly West Oxford Loop extended) from where it ends on Old Sardis Road to Industrial Park Road which will create a direct route from West Jackson Avenue to Highway 7.

“I don’t think anyone on this board is real hungry about raising taxes,” said Board President Mike Roberts. “But I do think everyone on this board is committed to law enforcement, first responders and infrastructure.