EDA approves $8.5 million bond; denies Habitat for Humanity grant
by Tom Chillemi
The Middlesex Economic Development Authority (EDA) approved issuing $8.5 million in bonds to Cape Henry Collegiate School Inc. of Virginia Beach. No members of the public spoke at the public hearing, which took place before the EDA’s vote at its April 18 meeting.
The new 15-year bond will consolidate existing bonds that the school has been issued. The EDA issued $10 million in bonds to the private non-profit school in 2001.
Middlesex County receives an annual fee of 1/8th of 1% on the outstanding balance. The fee will be about $10,600 for the first year.
The school is using the Middlesex EDA because each EDA can issue up to $10 million in “bank-qualified” bonds per year. Being bank-qualified allows banks that purchase the bonds to deduct a portion of the interest expense, which equates to a lower interest rate for the school.
The bonds are secured by a deed of trust on the 30-acre school campus, said headmaster Jack Lewis. The school has 860 students from pre-kindergarten through high school. Tuition is $18,000 per year and about 20% of the students get financial aid.
Habitat for Humanity
In another matter, the EDA, by consensus, declined a request for a $25,000 grant from Middlesex Habitat for Humanity.
Habitat president Greg Chambers told the EDA that the $25,000 grant would allow Habitat to build two houses in one year, instead of a single house per year. One could be built with volunteer labor, and the other would use Job Corps labor.
EDA chair Phillip Allan said the EDA’s focus is on “broader” economic development. Another EDA member said that $25,000 would be a “fair-sized chunk” of the EDA’s cash, and the EDA is looking to promote economic impact.
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