Financial advisers recommended for city-county consolidation

Davenport touts possible savings through better credit

jgaines@macon.comNovember 27, 2012 

Davenport & Co. should be the financial advisers used in setting up the new Macon-Bibb County consolidated government, a committee of the consolidation task force decided Tuesday morning.

The task force Finance Committee picked the Richmond, Va.-based firm after a Nov. 7 presentation by Davenport officials and subsequent research by committee members, particularly Bibb County Commissioner Elmo Richardson.

Richardson said he worked with Macon’s interim Chief Administrative Officer Dale Walker -- who initially recommended Davenport to the task force -- and Middle Georgia Regional Commission staff on defining what financial advisers should do.

If the full task force approves the recommendation, Davenport would be asked to develop basic financial policies, find debt-restructuring savings, decide how much of a “rainy day fund” to hold and work with credit-rating agencies, according to a meeting summary from Chris Floore, Macon’s director of public affairs.

For doing that work within 90 days, the company would be paid up to $22,500, plus expenses.

On Nov. 7, Davenport representatives said a careful approach to credit rating agencies could bring better borrowing terms for the new government than either Macon or Bibb County now enjoys, potentially saving lots of money by refinancing more than $100 million in existing public debt. That could aid in approaching the 20 percent cut in combined city-county budgets mandated to occur in the next five years.

Davenport originally asked for $35,000 to $40,000, but that was for a broader scope of work than in the final agreement, Richardson said. Other consultants are already expected to provide some of those services, he said.

“There was some overlap with the Carl Vinson Institute,” Richardson said. “We sorted all that out and narrowed the scope somewhat.”

After Davenport’s initial presentation, committee members said they wanted to consider other firms before deciding.

“We requested (proposals) from several other firms, but they declined,” Richardson said.

To contact writer Jim Gaines, call 744-4489.

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