Bond Double-Talk

At the Sept. 22 meeting of Fairfield County Council, a fast-talking attorney made a presentation about the 2013 $24 million bond issuance of the Fairfield Facilities Corporation (FFC) and our County’s purchase agreement with the corporation. He doubled down on one of the justifications offered by our County government for why we would agree to over $43 million in unwarranted debt without a public referendum. That idea being that our contract with the FFC would preclude other counties or state agencies from being able to access any monies that come to the County as a result of the expected operation of the two nuclear reactors under construction at VC Summer.

The attorney asserted that “we have protected those revenues by contract” because the General Assembly cannot pass legislation voiding contracts. That seems to be quite a stretch from reality. The contract with the FFC only covers the payoff amount, which is about $43 million, and will only last until the final payment is made, right? How could it apply to anything else? We could potentially benefit from payments from SCANA in excess of $70 million annually if/when the two new reactors come on line. If, in the attorney’s own words, “No contract is forever,” and the contract payoff amount is $43 million, will all the projected monies really be protected, or has the weakness of this supposed point of justification been exploited?

Regardless, the whole story of the bond and purchase agreement should have been told to the citizens of Fairfield County before the papers were inked, not afterwards

Billy Smith

Winnsboro