It Takes a Muddle to Pay for Spaceport Camden
The Camden County Commission has approved the resolution for the loan to reimburse the County for all spaceport-related expenses, including engineering, legal fees and land acquisition. Camden County Administrator Steve Howard said the resolution sets a cap of $5 million for a bond to pay for the project. But we are already committed to more than $5 million, having already spent more than $2.4 million with $3.8 million remaining if the FAA issues the spaceport license, plus more expenses to come. Then we have to build a spaceport for a hundred million dollars, or more. The concept of borrowing money to reimburse itself is actually a strong indication that the County cannot afford even the $5 million dollars to pay for the Environmental Impact Study and the proposed site. Even after raising property taxes this year and next they still have to get the money they’ve already spent back into an already skimpy budget.
The newspaper story also fails to mention that the County authorizes itself in its Resolution to borrow up to $5 million even if the spaceport project is “abandoned.” In that case, the County will be in debt with nothing to show for it except a piece of land that was on the tax digest for $780,000 before the County offered to pay $4.8 million for it.
Read the linked Resolution to see why maybe even some of the Commissioners didn't understand what they voted for.