The various taxing districts around the county got an unpleasant surprise from La Paz County’s new bank when they were hit with fees if they had a line of credit. They got a much more pleasant surprise when the Industrial Development Authority of La Paz County voted to pay those fees from IDA funds.
The IDA board approved paying the fees at their Sept. 7 meeting. District 2 Supervisor Duce Minor reported the IDA board’s decision at the Sept. 7 County Board of Supervisors’ meeting. Minor had requested the IDA board provide funds to cover these fees.
The IDA was established to collect fees as an agency authorizing the issuing of bonds by other entities. Those fees are then to be used to fund development and other projects that benefit the residents of La Paz County. The total amount of the bank fees covered by the IDA came to $33,750.
In early July, the county entered into an agreement with Western Alliance Bank of Phoenix for financial services. They replaced Chase Bank, which had declined to continue as the county’s bank due to the financial crisis from the shortfall in the county’s general fund. In addition to the county’s funds, the County Treasurer’s office also handles funds from the taxing districts, like schools and fire districts.
These districts that had lines of credit found themselves hit with fees from Western Alliance Bank. They ranged from $8,437.50 for the Buckskin Fire District to $1,687.50 each for the Bouse School District and the Ehrenberg Fire District.
“Every district in the county that had a line of credit got hit with fees,” IDA Board President Randy Hartless said. “The only school district that didn’t get hit was Parker Unified, and that’s because we don’t have a line of credit.”
In addition to being the IDA Board President, Hartless is also the President of the Parker School Board. He is also a member of the Parker Town Council.
Hartless said the different districts were very happy to hear someone was going to pay these fees. In a statement, Hartless said the IDA was pleased to be able to help out these districts as none of them knew beforehand about the fees.
“A lot of them had already paid the fees,” Hartless said. “Of course, none of them had budgeted for the fees.”
In addition to paying the fees for the taxing districts, Hartless said the IDA will be providing $15,000 to the Parker Public Library for a mural on one side of their building.
At the Sept. 7 Supervisors’ meeting, the board members, Minor, Holly Irwin, and Dave Plunkett, thanked the IDA for all they’ve done for the community.
“The Industrial Development Authority is pleased to be able to assist so many non-profit organizations, government entities, and even special districts with budget shortfalls and special projects,” Hartless said in a statement. “This particular funding request included special districts all over La Paz County, and none of them knew about or budgeted for the new bank fees.”
The IDA board also approved funding that is contingent on their receiving fees for a large bond issue that was recently approved. These included $50,000 for the La Paz Economic Development Corporation, and $27,000 for a new floor for the Parker Community/Senior Center. They also approved assisting La Paz County in covering shortfalls in funding to outside agencies, like the Chambers of Commerce. Again, this funding is contingent on the IDA receiving fees for that large bond issue.
Hartless said the IDA would likely receive these funds in late October, and that is when the funds would be provided to the EDC, the Parker Senior Center, and the chambers.
Hartless went on to describe the IDA this way: “The Industrial Development Authority board is a political subdivision of La Paz County, but they are an independent board of volunteer members appointed by the La Paz County Supervisors. Board members include Randy Hartless (Parker), Mike Penn (Parker), Dan Beaver (Parker), Kit Furnell (Parker Strip), Robert “Gunny” St. Germain (Quartzsite), Beverly Owens (Salome), and Harley Krudiof (Bouse). The IDA earns fees through bond transactions they facilitate and those funds may be utilized for projects that “benefit the people of La Paz County.”
The La Paz IDA is the issuing agency for bonds from other entities. They are not in any way responsible for any of the debts of these entities. Issuing the bonds for other entities poses no financial liability for the county.