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Local match needed by state before Georgia Regents University Cancer Center funds released

Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014 8:23 PM
Last updated Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014 1:36 AM
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While bond funds for the new Georgia Regents University Cancer Center are unencumbered, the reality is they won’t be spent until a private match is in the bank, officials said Tuesday. And that could put Augusta officials hard up against a deadline to get special purpose local option sales tax funding.

The Georgia State Financing and Investment Commission has sold $45 million in bonds to finance the $62.5 million project and the university has committed to raise $12.5 million, with another $5 million in bond funding next fiscal year.

Technically, the bond funds are available and would not require a match to be spent, a GSFIC official has said.

But the Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget does require on large projects such as this that at least two-thirds of the matching funds in the bank before it will let the project move forward, said Teresa MacCartney, the director of the office and the state’s Chief Financial Officer.

“What I always want to emphasize is we don’t want to go down a path of building these buildings and then, if we don’t have the local match, we’ll get to a point where then we have to go in there and change the scope or we have to come back and put in more state funding,” she said. “So we really want that guarantee.”

While GSFIC would release the funds to the University System of Georgia Board of Regents, that agency reports to the Office of Planning and Budget, MacCartney said.

Because the bond funding was issued this fiscal year, the agency would like to see the private funding in the bank by June 30 “if we want to be able to stay on track and get this building going,” she said.

If not, “we would probably just let it sit there until we could get the commitment and get the funding from the local” contributors, MacCartney said.

If the philanthropy appears to be a problem, “then we would have conversations with GRU,” she said. “But I’m not going to tell you we would pull the funding. We would have to have conversations with GRU on how to move forward.”

But Augusta Mayor Deke Copenhaver said it was his understanding that if the university and its partners can’t meet the deadline “then those funds will end up going someplace else.”

So he believes the time is now to get that done, and he would like it to be through $8 million in the next SPLOST. A philanthropic gift to help the university reach its commitment “would be contingent upon the city getting our portion of the funding,” Copenhaver said.

That would put the city under a difficult deadline because the state and federal primary date where the SPLOST referendum will appear was moved up to May 20. That would mean the Augusta Commission would have to pass the SPLOST referendum by Feb. 10.

But Copenhaver believes the frantic push to get it done will be worth it.

“I don’t believe the importance of building the cancer center here can be overstated,” he said. “This facility would have the opportunity to impact the lives of not just local citizens but citizens throughout Georgia and throughout the Southeast. For me that’s something our city should not pass up.”

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Little Lamb
45904
Points
Little Lamb 01/21/14 - 10:52 pm
5
2
New Day, New Story

If they put the $8 million or the $12 million on a SPLOST referendum in May, all the while the current SPLOST is nowhere near expiring, then the SPLOST funds won't start dribbling in until late 2015 and into 2016. This is a scam, folks. An absolute bait and switch. A three-card monte.

KSL
129318
Points
KSL 01/22/14 - 07:52 am
1
3
Wait, wait, wait. GRU has

Wait, wait, wait.

GRU has bragged about the cancer center, dumped on Augusta, but needs local funds?

Riverman1
83792
Points
Riverman1 01/22/14 - 09:29 am
2
4
Deke Wants To Stop Cancer

Sure, Deke, saving cancer patients is a noble cause. But it's simply something the city of Augusta shouldn't pay for. The city has already given the land worth millions from that entire housing project to GRU. Now you want to give them millions more for a state project?

What has GRU given Augusta? Not even its name. What have you said to Azziz about it? Absolutely nothing. Why don't you take an extended, backpack wearing, hostel staying, jazz café on Broad St, Speedo wearing, journey around the world to save the children or something? Send postcards to Bill Kirby to let us know how you are doing.

corgimom
32266
Points
corgimom 01/22/14 - 10:25 am
1
2
Somebody help me out on this.

Somebody help me out on this.

$45 Million in bonds have been sold.
$12.5 Million is going to be raised by University.

So that leaves $5 million, to make a total of $62.5 million.

So why is Deke asking for $8 million? What's the extra $3 million for?

Tom Corwin
9548
Points
Tom Corwin 01/22/14 - 02:36 pm
0
0
Corgimom

There is an additional $5 million in bond funding to be sold next fiscal year. The $8 million from SPLOST funds would go toward the $12.5 million in philanthropy in the project's budget. Here is the math: $45 million in bond funding already sold, $5 million in bond funding still to be sold, $12.5 million in philanthropy, which officials hope will be $8 million from SPLOST and $4-$4.5 million from a private donor, to reach the $62.5 million budgeted for the new GRU Cancer Center.

David Parker
7923
Points
David Parker 01/22/14 - 02:41 pm
1
1
Just apply the 50 mil to a

Just apply the 50 mil to a new convention center so we can share our Christmas crafts and knick-knacks.

Meanwhile, cancer marches on.

Esctab
891
Points
Esctab 01/22/14 - 04:41 pm
0
1
Nobody wants to suffer from

Nobody wants to suffer from cancer, nobody wants a family member to suffer from cancer, nobody wants a friend to suffer from cancer and everyone wants research to find the cure. That said, its people who fight cancer and it will be people who find the cure, not buildings. If a third new cancer building is actually necessary at GRU to achieve the noble goal of defeating cancer, what has GRU proposed it will do to attract and retain researchers to engage in the battle against cancer? (the GRU track record of faculty/researcher retention and morale is not good). What has GRU proposed in the way of a different use for the two existing cancer buildings? These things need to be factored into doing the math for the cost impact of a third new building.

David Parker
7923
Points
David Parker 01/22/14 - 05:24 pm
1
0
I thought this was a done

I thought this was a done deal lock stock and barrel. The time to debate whether it's useful or not useful was a year or so ago. I wouldn't go so far to say that GRU wouldn't back out and send the money elsewhere but it was sort of a leverage in the hostile takeover of ASU. You want big results, you have to dream even bigger. I've no problem with building another research center that may save a life one day.

nocnoc
42500
Points
nocnoc 01/22/14 - 05:31 pm
0
1
All politics aside

Some people are gripping .."Remember GRU abandon US so the CSRA should not be on the hook." etc etc.

Well someone out there
Anyone tell me, IF your family has NOT been touched by cancer.

Anyone?

Since a sizable about of the $$$$$ to be public funds and trust is extremely important. A STRICT accounting from womb to tomb of the $$$$ needs to be made public each year. If it needed to be spend it needs to be listed.

FUNDING should be clearly written
<20% admin and +80% research.

We don't need any consultants.

Esctab
891
Points
Esctab 01/22/14 - 06:45 pm
0
2
Then get your checkbook out

Then get your checkbook out David Parker, because Azziz desperately needs your local matching funds.

While you're at it, write a check for the fourth building.

corgimom
32266
Points
corgimom 01/22/14 - 07:27 pm
0
0
Tax collections are

Tax collections are philanthropy? REALLY?

Boy, that's a new one!

That is the first time, ever, that I have ever heard of citizens paying a tax, and it's called "philanthropy".

God help us all!

corgimom
32266
Points
corgimom 01/22/14 - 07:30 pm
1
1
But I have a better idea.

But I have a better idea.

Why don't Deke and his family do the right philanthropic thing and donate the 8 million?

corgimom
32266
Points
corgimom 01/22/14 - 08:02 pm
0
0
But, RC- BOHICA!

But, RC- BOHICA!

GnipGnop
12227
Points
GnipGnop 01/23/14 - 01:18 am
0
1
shouldn't obamacare

cover all this cancer treatment? I mean that's the bill of goods we were sold...sarcasm off

David Parker
7923
Points
David Parker 01/23/14 - 09:47 am
1
0
I don't have means to be

I don't have means to be philantropic on top of tax. I'll get my long johns on and dig out the foundation anytime someone wants to hand me a shovel though. We all got skin in the game, just a matter of who cares to promote the effort.

Esctab
891
Points
Esctab 01/23/14 - 12:03 pm
0
2
Well David Parker, Azziz

Well David Parker, Azziz isn’t promoting the effort either, just himself.

David Parker
7923
Points
David Parker 01/23/14 - 12:07 pm
0
0
touche

touche

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