Funds in line of credit' program running out

By By Chris Allen Baker/staff writer
Feb. 21, 2002
The question of whether or not Lauderdale County should apply for a $5 million line of credit from the Mississippi Development Bank may soon be academic.
The money is almost gone.
As of Wednesday, $20 million remained available out of a $125 million pool earmarked for local governments to establish lines of credit, said Bill Barry, executive director of the Mississippi Business Finance Corporation which administers the program.
Barry said the low interest loans will be available on a first-come, first-served basis and that Lauderdale County and Meridian are the only governments in East Central Mississippi to express an interest.
The city of Meridian has successfully applied for a $10 million line of credit. The money, if used, would be repaid with 2.95 percent interest.
Lauderdale supervisors, with the exception of Ray Boswell of District 5, want to apply for a line of credit for possible use in capital improvements.
County residents opposed to the move presented a petition the board Tuesday signed by 3,913 people. If at least 1,500 of those people are registered voters, supervisors will have to hold a countywide referendum to decide the question.
County Administrator Rex Hiatt received a fax Tuesday from Mississippi Business Finance Corporation listing the 19 governmental entities enrolled in the program.
Lauderdale County supervisors are expected to decide March 4 whether to continue their application.

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