Coahoma County

Coahoma County, Mississippi, (the “County”) is located in the northwestern portion of the State of Mississippi, with the City of Clarksdale as the County seat. The County wanted to build a new Justice Complex that would house a sheriff’s office, with accommodations for deputies and detectives, and a justice court that contained a courtroom, two judges’ offices, and space for clerks. Additionally, the County needed funds for a 155 inmate jail, a three-bay fire station and training center. The County wanted the ability to finance these assets over a 20-year term with the ability to have the construction contracts of the buildings negotiated rather than publicly bid in order to contain costs and work with a specialized contractor that could complete the work in a timely manner on budget.

The Solution

Crews worked with bond counsel to come up with a financing structure that would meet all County needs. $12.490 million of Certificates of Participation (“COPs”) were issued by a non-profit corporation to fund the projects, with the projects being leased back to the County, under a lease purchase structure. Because the COPs were issued instead of GO Bonds, the construction contract was able to be negotiated. With COPs, the obligation of the County to make lease payments is subject to annual appropriation.

The Difference

Crews worked hard to serve our client in extraordinary ways by:

  1. Meeting County needs to negotiate the construction contracts on these essential service facilities by selling COPs, even though the County‘s obligation is subject to annual appropriation,
  2. Demonstrates ability to finance projects with unique credit profiles.