Road loan program to aid Ferdinand developments

By LEANN BURKE
lburke@dcherald.com

FERDINAND — In the town of Ferdinand, housing is a hot commodity.

That’s why for the last several years, town leadership has been looking for ways to attract developers to the community. Now, the town’s economic development commission has a plan to help.

At the town council meeting Tuesday night, the commission presented a revolving road loan program to the council for approval.

“It’s come to our attention that street construction is the most burdensome cost, next to land,” said Dan Collignon, president of the commission.

Under the program, the town will loan money to developers through the economic development commission’s budget to build streets in their developments. To receive funds, developers will present to the economic development commission who will evaluate the project based on a points system before making a recommendation to the council. The council will have final say on whether or not a developer receives a loan.

The funds will only be available for use on streets — not storm sewers or curbs — and the developers will be expected to pay back the loan with interest.

“It’s a loan, not a grant,” said Collignon.

The term of the loan varies from two to seven years depending on the number of lots in the development, however, developers are expected to make payments on the loan as lots sell. The town will also have a lien on the development in case the loans default.

The council approved the program, which was codified in an ordinance.

So far, Collignon said, no developers have approached the commission about participating in the program, but that’s because the program had been kept under wraps until the council approved it. Now that the word is out, he said he could think of a couple developers who might want to be involved, though he didn’t name names.

“I think it will be popular,” Collignon said. “But we have a limited budget, so we’re not going to be doing large 100-lot developments.”




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