IW moving forward with new Hardy debt

Published 5:39 pm Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Isle of Wight County’s Board of Supervisors voted unanimously on Jan. 20 to move forward with borrowing additional money for the Hardy Elementary School project and other capital needs.

Per the vote, the county is authorized to borrow up to $19.5 million. Davenport & Company, the county’s financial advising firm, is anticipating interest rates on the bond to be at or below 3%, and expects to lock in an interest rate by Feb. 10.

Prior to the vote, the Board held a public hearing on the new debt, which drew no speakers.

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The Board had borrowed roughly $34 million in 2020, intending to put $27 million toward building a replacement Hardy Elementary and the rest toward other capital needs. But the guaranteed maximum price the Board ultimately approved for the Hardy project last September was $36.8 million, resulting in a nearly $10 million gap in available funds.

To cover the shortfall, County Administrator Randy Keaton had proposed Isle of Wight borrow additional money for Hardy in 2022 instead of the planned $30 million-plus bond intended to finance the replacement of another 1960s-era school, Westside Elementary.