$1.45 million in bonds approved for Community Counseling Center

Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Industrial Development Authority of Cape Girardeau County on Wednesday authorized issuing $1.45 million in tax-exempt bonds to help fund the expansion of the Community Counseling Center.

The mental health not-for-profit organization's administrative offices are located off-site from its main facility at South Silver Springs Road and Bloomfield Road. The bonds will finance construction of a 7,980-square-foot building connecting to this existing facility. The new building will house the center's administrative offices, psychiatric day treatment program, consumer employment service and forensic services.

"There are efficiencies to be gained by bringing everyone under one roof," said John M. Thompson, IDA president. The counseling center expects to add about 23 employees to its staff in the next two years as a result of the expansion, he said.

The Community Counseling Center serves Cape Girardeau, Perry, Bollinger, Ste. Genevieve and Madison counties, helping more than 8,000 people annually. The organization has about 300 employees with offices in each county. It also operates several residential facilities, including two apartment complexes for those with mental illness -- New Morning Apartments in Fredericktown, Mo., and Boehme-Hinni Apartments in Cape Girardeau -- as well as the Lou Masterman Center group home in Cape Girardeau.

The Community Counseling Center is funded by the Missouri Department of Mental Health, Cape Girardeau, Perry and Ste. Genevieve county mental health boards, fees for services, grants, contracts and private and corporate gifts.

Before Wednesday's meeting, IDA members made site visits to the counseling center's location, reviewed financial statements and met with the center's leadership team, Thompson said. The vote to approve the resolution to issue the bonds was unanimous.

"I am very confident the proceeds will be used as they are supposed to be," Thompson said.

Montgomery Bank has committed to buying the bonds issued.

In an effort to follow new recommendations from the Internal Revenue Service, the IDA board Wednesday also approved new compliance procedures to require certain information from the Community Counseling Center and other organizations it has issued bonds for each year.

The not-for-profit Industrial Development Authority has issued bonds to numerous companies since its formation in 1979, including BioKyowa, Procter & Gamble, Saint Francis Medical Center, Southeast Hospital and Drury Industries.

"The obligation is on the borrower because they are the one using the bond proceeds. We're asking them to make an annual filing with us to ensure they fulfill their obligations," said Mark Grimm, bond counsel with Gilmore & Bell in St. Louis who worked with the Community Counseling Center and IDA on the proposal.

The Community Counseling Center previously worked with the IDA on a $1.56 million bond issue in 2008 to fund the purchase and renovation of a facility on Kingshighway to house business offices, a psychosocial rehabilitation program and in-home services. This building will continue to operate in its existing location.

When the new facility is completed, its offices and services located now in leased space on Wolverine Drive will relocate there.

The project will be put out for bids in December or January with plans to break ground in the spring, said John Hudak, executive director of the Community Counseling Center.

"We have to finish up all the stuff with the bank, that will probably be the first part of December when money will start to be released. We will go out for bids and try to go for all local people," Hudak said.

Construction is expected to take about 10 months to complete.

mmiller@semissourian.com

388-3646

Pertinent address:

402 S. Silver Springs Road, Cape Girardeau, Mo.

Map of pertinent addresses

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