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Oconee County and Walton County Votes On Hard Labor Creek Loan Postponed to January

The Hard Labor Creek Reservoir Management Board has postponed again the dates for approval of a state loan for construction of the 1,400-acre reservoir in southeastern Walton County.

The Hard Labor Creek Reservoir Management Board has postponed the dates for approval of a state loan for construction of the 1,400-acre reservoir in southeastern Walton County pending the outcome of negotiations over the language of the loan contracts.

The loan documents as presented to the Board obligate only Walton County to repay the loan, while both Walton County and Oconee County officials expected and want the debt to be split on the agreed-upon ratio of 71/29, with Oconee County the minority partner.

The current tentative schedule calls for the Oconee County Board of Commissioners to give first reading to the loan document at its Dec. 18 agenda-setting meeting and final approval at its regular meeting on Jan. 8. Originally, the BOC was scheduled to approve the loan agreement on Nov. 6, but that date was changed a month ago because of delays in receipt of the loan documents.

The Walton County BOC also is scheduled to give final approval of the loan at its meeting on Jan. 8.

The approval will be only for the $20 million loan, the larger of two loans approved by the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority (GEFA). The Management Board has put off action on the second loan, for $12 million, in order to save the two counties the costs of loan repayment.

The new schedule was agreed to by the Management Board at its meeting on Nov. 20.

The Oconee County BOC also will consider changes to qualifications of Oconee County members of the Hard Labor Creek Management Board on Dec. 18 and Jan. 8 and appoint new members on the second of those two dates.

The Walton BOC will take up similar changes prior to the next meeting of the Management Board on Jan. 15.

For additional information on the action taken by the Management Board at the Nov. 20 meeting, go to Oconee County Observations.

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