Financing & Municipal Advisory Services

When your locality is considering financing a capital project or equipment and needs advice that is in its best interests, look to VML/VACo Finance. VML/VACo Finance is registered as a Municipal Advisor (MA) with the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB) and the Securities and Exchange Commission. Our finance professionals qualify for the designation of Municipal Advisor by taking and passing the MSRB Series 50 exam. As Municipal Advisors, we follow a code of conduct and have a fiduciary responsibility to our clients.

Municipal Advisory Services

Choose from three Municipal Advisory deliverables depending on your needs:

Credit Benchmarks & Debt Capacity Report

Answers the question, “What is our credit profile and how much additional debt can we afford?” VML/VACo Finance examines the local government’s credit profile and compares it to industry standards and peer localities. We assess your debt capacity and make recommendations in a report and presentation to the governing body.

Plan of Finance

Answers the question, What financing option(s) are best for us and how much will they cost?” VML/VACo Finance compares available financing options to help you make the best choice. In developing the Plan of Finance, our Municipal Advisors prepare and compare financing scenarios, loan structures, and modes of financing.

Financing implementation

Making it happen. VML/VACo Finance manages the execution of the financing option that you select. We coordinate the municipal bond issuance team; solicit proposals and manage the closing for your bank loan or equipment lease; and guide you through the steps for obtaining financing through state loan programs or VML/VACo Finance’s in-house programs.

What financing options does VML/VACo Finance support?

  • Municipal bonds – Municipal bond issuance involves coordinating a team of finance professionals including investment bankers, bond counsel, the trustee, rating agencies, and others. Bond issuance entails more expense and ongoing compliance requirements than other forms of financing. Yet for particularly large-scale financings, municipal bonds are frequently the most cost-effective option.
  • Bank loans – Bank loans became a very popular source of financing for governments when new regulations following the Great Recession made bond issuance more challenging. Bank loans continue to be attractive, although some banks have begun to reevaluate their appetite for tax-exempt financing in light of recent tax reform. VML/VACo Finance works with national, regional, and community banks to identify the most attractive rates and terms.
  • Equipment leasing – For moveable equipment that can be used as collateral, equipment leasing typically offers the most streamlined, cost-effective source of financing. VML/VACo Finance includes all leading providers of equipment leases in its competitive RFP process.
  • State loan programs – Virginia offers several attractive loan programs and revolving funds. We will help you take an objective look at features, timing, and fees to know when state loan programs offer the best choice for your financing.
  • Fixed Rate Loan Program – A financing option exclusive to VML/VACo Finance, the Fixed Rate Loan Program integrates bank loans with a convenient online payment interface, no-cost arbitrage monitoring, no wire fees, and loan servicing. A small annual fee replaces program closing costs. Currently, participants are eligible to receive an automatic grant from the non-profit Virginia Local Government Finance Corporation to apply toward bond counsel and/or project costs.
  • Commercial Paper – Another financing option exclusive to VML/VACo Finance, the pooled Commercial Paper program provides floating-rate loans for low-cost interim financing and longer-term loans at low market rates. Established in 2005, VML/VACo Commercial Paper has been used by local governments and authorities of all sizes, with loans up to $100 million.

How do VML/VACo Financing & Municipal Advisory Services compare in cost?

Our mission is to provide Virginia local governments and authorities excellent financial services at the lowest cost.  Municipal Advisory fees are quoted up-front, based upon type and size of financing – starting with $3,500 for an equipment lease of up to $500,000.  Custom reports never exceed $7,500, and clients are currently eligible for a $2,500 grant from VLGFC.

For a financing option with no program closing costs, VML/VACo’s Fixed Rate Loan Program features a discounted annual fee — about 50% less than state bond programs for projects over $5 million.  Additionally, participants in the Fixed Rate Loan Program currently qualify for a grant of $5,000 from the Virginia Local Government Finance Corporation (VLGFC).

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IDA of Stafford County & the City of Staunton, Virginia

When required, municipal bonds and notes of the VML/VACo Finance program are issued by the Industrial Development Authority of the County of Stafford and the City of Staunton, Virginia (IDA). This joint IDA was established solely for the purpose of serving as the Issuer for VML/VACo Finance. The dozens of VML and VACo member localities that have benefitted from VML/VACo’s pooled financing programs since 2003 are grateful to the Board of Supervisors of Stafford County and the City Council of Staunton for their invaluable roles in creating VML/VACo Finance and for their continuing support of the program.

The IDA is organized and exists as a political subdivision of the Commonwealth. Its Board of Directors consists of seven (7) directors, three (3) of whom are appointed on a continuing basis by the Board of Supervisors of Stafford County, and three (3) of whom are appointed on a continuing basis by the City Council of Staunton. The remaining position is appointed on a rotating basis between the two localities.

Industrial Development Authority of Stafford Co. & the City of Staunton, Virginia

Board of Directors – 2018-2019

Courtland Robinson, Chairman

City of Staunton

Terry Payne, Vice Chairman

Stafford County

Gary Adkins

Stafford County

Ray Griffin

City of Staunton

Michael Lovitt

Stafford County

Michael Norris

City of Staunton

Jane T. Pietrowski, PhD

City of Staunton