WOODSTOCK — Shenandoah County’s Board of Supervisors voted unanimously on Tuesday night to approve the issuance of a lease revenue bond worth $6 million to help pay for important county and school projects identified in the county’s capital improvement plan for fiscal years 2022 and 2023.
The loan, structured through the county’s Industrial Development Authority, comes via Sterling National Bank and includes a 10-year repayment term beginning in fiscal year 2023.
Shenandoah County’s adopted budget for this fiscal year included debt financing of $4.2 million for Shenandoah County Public Schools capital projects deemed “urgent” and/or “necessary” and additional debt financing of $1.4 million in county capital items (mostly made up of vehicle replacements).
The school division recently identified $2.2 million worth of capital projects that could be funded through other one-time sources (such as money from the American Rescue Plan Act), though supervisors directed county staff to proceed with the original debt financing plan included in the county budget. That allows the county to apply that extra $2.2 million toward the school division’s urgent and necessary capital projects included in the county’s CIP for fiscal year 2023.
Davenport & Company LLC issued a request for proposals on behalf of the county regarding the lease revenue bond to over 100 financial institutions nationwide and fielded seven responses, Davenport representative Ted Cole told county supervisors during Tuesday’s meeting. Davenport recommended that the county accept Sterling’s proposal, which county supervisors did by a 6-0 vote.
Sterling provided the lowest interest rate (1.315%) of the seven institutions that replied to Davenport’s RFP, Cole said, and also provided lowest estimated debt service over the 10-year life of the loan among the top three choices.
According to Cole’s presentation, the county’s estimated debt service over that 10-year period with Sterling is $6,423,925, which is $70,719 less than Key Government Finance and $138,827 less than Zions Bank.
Through Sterling, the loan is prepayable in whole only after Aug. 1, 2027, though Cole noted that given the low fixed interest rate, it’s “unlikely” that there will be an opportunity to refinance for savings in the near future, a fact that left his firm feeling like Sterling’s prepayment provisions were “reasonable.”
The county will collateralize the loan with Signal Knob Middle School. The lease revenue bond, which already received IDA approval on Monday, still needs to be approved by the Shenandoah County School Board at its Oct. 14 meeting. Closing date for the loan is Oct. 21.
Also on Tuesday, county supervisors voted 6-0 to approve a special-use permit allowing Harold “Hal” Stalcup to operate a six-bedroom short-term rental located at 3458 Zepp Road in Maurertown.
Stalcup, whose application garnered unanimous backing from the county’s Planning Commission earlier this month, displayed images during a public hearing on Sept. 2 showing a three-story home of over 5,000 square feet. The home, which he’s named “Tea Mountain Retreat”, includes six bedrooms, four bathrooms, hardwood floors and cedar walls and ceilings, a large “gourmet” kitchen, a wet bar, a great room with theater seating, a six-person hot tub, two screened-in side porches, a large rear deck, a rock garden and a fenced-in yard.
On Tuesday, county supervisors also voted unanimously to:
Appoint Jered Hoover to serve on the Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park Federal Advisory Commission, and to appoint Brenda Black to serve as an alternate.
Appoint Kim Collett to serve on the Community Policy Management Team.
Carry over capital projects and grants from fiscal year 2021 to fiscal year 2022.
At the end of Tuesday’s open session, supervisors Brad Pollack, Karl Roulston and Dennis Morris praised the work done at the old school building and historic bank building in Woodstock, both of which have been repurposed by Echelon Resources into residential and/or commercial spaces.
Board of Supervisors Chairman Steve Baker also shared a recent “heartwarming” experience he had with Rockingham County agriculture students at his farm and expressed a desire to see more hands-on educational opportunities for area students.
During the public comments portion of Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting, Woodstock resident Stanley Wellard asked the board to call for Pollack’s resignation “immediately,” citing recent news that the District 3 supervisor and local attorney was charged with two misdemeanor counts of destruction of property for allegedly removing real estate signs from an Edinburg subdivision, as well as Pollack’s “past behavior” as a lawyer.
Wellard noted that Pollack had his license to practice law suspended about 15 years ago. Information on the Virginia State Bar’s website states that “a three-judge panel of the Shenandoah Circuit Court suspended Bradley Glenn Pollack’s license to practice law for two years, effective March 25, 2005, because of misconduct in civil and criminal cases.”
Additionally, Wellard referenced petitions Pollack filed against the county School Board and Shenandoah County Treasurer Cindy George that were related to the School Board’s decision last year to rename two schools on the southern end of the county. He asked that the Board of Supervisors publicly release the “total number of tax dollars that have been expended on this and other frivolous lawsuits pursued by Mr. Pollack.”
“It seems that Mr. Pollack is once again promoting his own political interest and ambitions to the detriment of the board and the citizens of Shenandoah County,” Wellard said. “The citizens of Shenandoah County deserve better representation than this. We deserve someone who respects the law of the Commonwealth of Virginia and devotes his time to improving our community instead of encouraging dissension and division. I am asking the board to call for the resignation of Bradley Pollack immediately.”
Wellard’s comments came a month and a half after Edinburg resident Jonathan Nateghi-Asli expressed similar concerns about Pollack and asked the Board of Supervisors to publicly answer a list of “ethical concerns and questions” he had regarding the District 3 supervisor.