Community Development Financing: How Two Cities Are Improving Residents’ Quality of Life

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These cities show how the Public Finance Authority can help your municipality finance its own economic development projects.

Sixty-six percent of mayoral state of the city speeches this year included significant coverage on economic development, NLC recently reported in its 2017 State of the Cities report. City officials across the U.S. say that job creation, business attraction, arts and culture, downtown development and employment are important to their constituents.

The NLC-sponsored Public Finance Authority (PFA) can help cities and local partners finance projects that advance these community and economic development goals. Recently, the cities of Charlotte, North Carolina, and Delray Beach, Florida, took action through the PFA to finance two large economic development projects.

Charlotte and Delray Beach share a common relationship as both cities participate in the National League of Cities and therefore have access to resources to build better communities. The PFA partners with local governments to assist in the financing of public benefit projects that create temporary and permanent jobs, affordable housing and community infrastructure and improve the overall quality of life in local communities.

The PFA is sponsored by the National Association of Counties, the National League of Cities, the Wisconsin Counties Association, and the League of Wisconsin Municipalities. Every city and town that participates as a member of NLC is eligible to schedule a meeting to discuss future financing for upcoming projects.

The Public Finance Authority was created for the purpose of issuing tax-exempt and taxable conduit bonds for public and private entities nationwide. For local governments, the PFA:

  • Reduces cost, staff time and liability to cities seeking to engage in private activity bond issuance
  • Provides a voice for communities by requiring the elected body to hold a public hearing and approve finance prior to the issuance of bonds by the PFA
  • Serves as an immediate resource to assist cities in accelerating local economic development

The Public Finance Authority has provided $50 million to refinance and finance 501(c)(3) nonprofit revenue bonds for the YMCA of Greater Charlotte. Bonds will be used to improve certain community centers. There are 19 community centers in the Charlotte region, serving nearly 300,000 men, women and children who use the facilities to exercise and increase their overall well-being.

Once the new remodel is complete, this development will in turn create jobs for those that are employed at the YMCA centers, such as social workers, family advocates and registered nurses who provide support to families in Charlotte.

A new facility that will benefit residents in southern Florida is expected to open in 2018. The PFA issued $81,315,000 of governmental purpose bonds for the acquisition and construction of the Delray Beach Radiation Therapy Cancer Center located in Delray Beach, Florida. The bond proceeds will be used by PFA to construct a cancer treatment facility.

The Delray Beach Radiation Therapy Cancer Center is expected to create more than 330 jobs for the Delray Beach area.

“The Public Finance Authority is excited about its role in bringing enhanced access to advanced medical treatment to South Florida and to also contribute to economic development in the city of Delray Beach and surrounding communities,” said PFA Program Manager Mike LaPierre.

For more information on how to finance projects in your city through the Public Finance Authority, contact Rasheeda Senger.

Featured image from Getty Images.

About the author: Rasheeda Senger is the senior associate for Strategy & Partnerships at the National League of Cities. Follow Rasheeda on Twitter @LRasheeda.