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Board of Supervisors Looks at Lending Services for Public Benefit Program

-Editorial

The Imperial County Board of Supervisors discussed potential financial services for the benefit programs.

The board met in regular session to discuss this item that was intended to help the county in this process. As a recommendation by the county board to make the process more effective for a program that can be complex for county employees, a financial institution was suggested to come in and help with the public benefit programs.

On January 24, 2012, the Imperial County Board of Supervisors approved guidelines establishing Public Benefit Funds. The Public Benefit Program includes the Agricultural Benefit and Community Benefit Fund.

The agricultural benefit program was created by the Imperial County Board of Supervisors to mitigate losses to agricultural production, jobs and agricultural, resulting from the development of renewable energy projects in the county.

Funds under the Community Benefit Program are utilized solely for the purpose for determined to accomplish specific goals and objectives. Such purposes might include but are not limited to, infrastructure improvement, job creation, and training, economic development and enhancement to the quality of life in neighboring communities.

For both of these programs, the County has made several loans to local businesses. The existing Public Benefit Program loan portfolio has been maintained by County staff since the inception of the program. Some of the duties include underwriting, billing, accounts receivables, and monitoring.

In an effort to streamline the lending process, the County is interested in seeking assistance from a local financial institution with the referral, originating, underwriting and the servicing of current and future loans under the Agricultural Benefit Program and Commission Benefit Program. As part of the loan program management, the financial institution would provide general loan servicing support, billing, account reconciliation, monitoring, collections, and additional services.

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