Since the Quorum Court meeting on Tuesday, Robinson has gone back to the P3Group with a request from the justices concerning an early payoff. Originally contracted for a 30-year-finance, Robinson said the members wanted to know if it could be paid off early.

Quorum Court will hold another meeting Monday, July 13, as the meeting held on Tuesday, July 7 ended inconclusively as one agenda item kept the members in deep discussion the entire duration.

Due to conflicting schedule of events on Tuesday between the City Council Meeting and Quorum Court, the Pine Bluff Commercial was unable to attend but in a follow-up interview with Jefferson County Judge Gerald Robinson, he explained the reason for the upcoming meeting next week.

“There were still some questions on the finances of the P3Group lease-to-own on the construction of the three buildings,” said Robinson referring to the Jefferson County Health Unit, the veteran’s service office and offices and facilities to house the Jefferson County Coroner’s office. “There was some confusion on some of the quorum court member’s part about the amount and how the county would repay.”

According to the Ordinance, the maximum principal balance set forth within the agreement will not exceed $14,000,000, the non-default interest rate set forth within the agreement will not exceed 5.25% per annum and the term over which the principal and interest set forth within the agreement shall be repaid will not exceed 32 years.

Robinson believes some of the justices were afraid to make a decision based on the dollar amount and the current financial situation that the county is in.

“I was explaining that we have revenues that are in place that will more than manage the repayment of this loan,” said Robinson who adds no payment will be required for three years. “I guess there was still some confusion in that part of it so I’m giving them time to do a little bit more research so that they will be more comfortable with their decision to proceed with this.”

According to Robinson during Tuesday’s meeting, a comment was made from a Justice of the Peace to find previously owned buildings that can be occupied but Robinson says that wouldn’t be ideal due to non-existent finances.

“I explained to them that the county does not have extra money to go in, remodel and retrofit. That’s why this was a better deal because we’re not putting up any money for construction costs,” said Robinson. “It gives us 3 years to accumulate money from the casino revenues in order for us to be able to make these payments.”

Behind the scenes, Robinson says he is doing everything in his power and wants everyone to trust that the county is making the right decision.

“All of them understand that there is a need for all three buildings,” said Robinson. “As the Chief Executive Officer, I have the responsibility to make sure that the finances are there. It boils down to rather you trust what I’m telling you or not.”

Comparing trusting the vision of the project to the passing of the yearly budget, Robinson said the operation of faith on a projection is no different.

“We pass those budgets every year on faith that those revenues are going to be there,” said Robinson. “We don’t know it but we still pass that budget based upon a projection that the treasurer gives us and we do it year to year.”

Since the Quorum Court meeting on Tuesday, Robinson has gone back to the P3Group with a request from the justices concerning an early payoff. Originally contracted for a 30-year-finance, Robinson said the members wanted to know if it could be paid off early.

A deal was renegotiated, according to Robinson, which would allow the county to pay an increased amount so the buildings would be paid off earlier. Robinson hopes that come Monday the justices will see the investment is not just for the betterment of the county but for those who utilize the operations of it daily.

“This is for those constituents who visit the health department, those constituents who have lost loved ones and have had to go over to that old coroner’s building to see their loved one already in a tragic state and the Veteran’s Office who can’t even use the bathroom and have the common usage that is afforded to every human being,” explained Robinson. “We’re not taking on this project for self-gratification. We’re taking on this project because it is a need and those needs were screamed out to the county judge and as the Chief Executive Officer, I filled an obligation to fulfill those needs.”