Albemarle Supervisors move forward with $178M in bonds with a third to be devoted to land purchase

The Albemarle Board of Supervisors has followed through with a prior decision to purchase 462 acres of land near Rivanna Station. On Wednesday, Supervisors voted unanimously to authorize the issue of municipal bonds to finance the property acquisition as well as items in county’s capital improvement plan. 

“The financing plan that we have before the Board today is a little unique,” said Jacob Sumner, the interim director of finance for Albemarle County. “Unique in that it is one financing package but within that package it contains two debt issuances, and two distinctly different debt issuances.”

The total amount to be issued is $178 million with $118 million going to finance projects in the capital improvement program such as expansions at Crozet and Mountain View elementary schools. Some of the funds will also cover the expansion of the county courts complex in downtown Charlottesville. 

“I will note that of the $118 million dollars, $40.2 million have already been expended so that first $40 million of this issuance will be going to reimbursing the county for these capital improvements,” Sumner said. 

The rest will go to pay for projects approved in the programs that are nearing construction. This is routine business as usual for Albemarle. 

“The issuance is a bond anticipation notes not to exceed to $60 million for the acquisitions of the Rivanna Station Futures property,” Sumner said. 

Credit: Albemarle County

Rivanna Station Futures is the code name for the 462 acres near Rivanna Station that Albemarle is planning to purchase from an LLC associated with developer Wendell Wood. 

The six Supervisors already approved that purchase back on May 24 but the deal has not yet closed. The term for these bond anticipation notes is five years rather than the twenty year term for the CIP bonds. Sumner said this shorter term gives the county the opportunity to seek other partners who might shoulder some of the cost of debt service on the purchase. At that point the debt would be converted to long-term. 

“These are partners to be named as we continue to go through our work with the state, asking the state to help us with this perimeter,” said County Executive Jeffrey Richardson. “Maybe you would approach it almost like a master plan for what the Rivanna property could be over the next five, ten, fifteen years.” 

Richardson said partners could also be private partners or academic institutions. 

The bond issuance will also need to be approved by the Economic Development Authority at their meeting on September 19. 

“Staff would then move into October in engaging with the rating agencies and we would work through our presentation on our projects and then obtain our credit rating from the agencies at that time,” Sumner said. 

For more information, check out these resources:

Before you go: The time to write and research of this article is covered by paid subscribers to Charlottesville Community Engagement. In fact, this particular story comes from the September 7, 2023 edition of the program. It was updated with new information before being posted here. To ensure this work can be sustained, please consider becoming a paid subscriber or contributing monthly through Patreon.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: