LaFayette, GA – Walker County Sole Commissioner Shannon Whitfield signed a resolution today to borrow $4 million through a Tax Anticipation Note (TAN) from First Volunteer Bank of LaFayette.
The previous administration left Walker County over $70 million in debt and with very little cash on hand. The loan will cover the finances needed to fully fund the county’s monthly operational expenses for the remainder of this calendar year.
Commissioner Whitfield originally projected in January 2017 that Walker County would need to borrow $8 million to get through the 2017 calendar year. This loan, along with a loan acquired in January, will meet those cash flow projections.
“Already this year, we’ve saved the county $1.6 million through some changes in our workforce and by becoming more efficient in managing county government,” said Commissioner Whitfield. “While it will take years to unburden Walker County from the financial mistakes of the past, I’m encouraged by the new willingness of the local banking community to work with us on our cash flow needs.”
Whitfield added, “First Volunteer Bank should be commended for their commitment to Walker County’s future. It has been a great experience working with Elijah Parker, Vice President Market Leader, Mark Kleiner, Vice President Commercial Banking, and Ron Jones, Commercial Bank Executive at First Volunteer Bank. They were willing to take the time to review the financial hurdles we face, but more importantly understand the financial progress we have made in the last six months. These guys stepping up with this $4 million loan supports our community, keeps our banking needs local and helps us continue to move Walker County forward!”
Walker County sought a local lender for this loan because the interest paid would support local jobs and businesses. First Volunteer Bank will charge a 3.25% interest rate on the TAN. The balance must be repaid by December 30, 2017.
First Volunteer Bank operates 24 branches in Tennessee and Northwest Georgia. The bank acquired the LaFayette location in 2012, as part of the Gateway Bank & Trust purchase. This marks the company’s first business relationship with Walker County government.