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Date: 28.02.2007

MHA pays off casino debt

    With a lump sum payment of $141,990.66, approved by the board of commissioners Tuesday night, the city's housing authority has wiped away its debt to the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority.
    This move also saves the agency approximately $80,000 over the next three and a half years.
    "The CRDA Board of Directors approved a discounted loan payout of the financing provided by them to help the Millville Housing Authority construct the Holly City Family Center," Executive Director Dale Gravett said in his written report. "For a lump sum payout of $141,000, we will be free of this debt, and with the exception of the MONI (Market Oriented Neighborhood Investment) program, (we) are free of all debt."
    The debt will be officially settled as of today.
    "This was approved by the casino board and the various casinos," he said. "I believe this is a smart move for MHA given future subsidy projections and due to the new accounting setup required by project-based management.
    "We will utilize proceeds from Welcome Home sales to help with the cash needs for this payout."
    Commissioner Dale Finch said the loan was issued several years ago. He added the housing authority had tried over the years to get it converted to a grant, but said instead this option presented itself.
    "This is a good deal for us," he said.
    Gravett agreed and said, "This is a really big deal for the housing authority."
    In other MHA news, the housing authority closed with its mid-rise tax credit investor, WNC Corporation, on Feb. 16. They also closed the same day with the construction lender, Parke Bank.
    "Work has begun in earnest," Gravett said, adding they are hoping to hold a groundbreaking in late March on the $16.3 million building.
    Juanita Aviles-Childers was sworn in as a board member.
    Commissioner Larry Miller met with Congressman Frank LoBiondo to talk about funding and other vital points of interest to the MHA.
    "Some additional funding was inserted in this year's Omnibus Budget Resolution, but the subsidy proration is only 82.9 percent," Gravett said. "This is an all-time low, yet HUD comes back and asks for even less in fiscal year 2008. I will not sugar coat it, this is serious."

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