Phoenix Programs seeks revenue bond issue

Application to Industrial Development Authority subject to approval of City Council.
Friday, January 1, 2010 | 12:01 a.m. CST

COLUMBIA — The Industrial Development Authority of Boone County has given preliminary approval to an application by Phoenix Programs for a $1.8 million revenue bond issue to help finance its new office building on Leslie Lane, just west of Providence Road.

Phoenix Programs is a not-for-profit organization that has provided treatment for Columbia residents addicted to alcohol and other substances since 1974.

Although the Industrial Development Authority has already given unanimous approval to the bond issue, it plans to hold another hearing on the matter. The application also remains subject to approval of the City Council because the project is within the city. The council is scheduled to vote on a resolution regarding the bond issue at its Monday meeting, which begins at 7 p.m., in the council chambers at the Daniel Boone City Building, 701 E. Broadway.

The total cost for Phoenix Programs' new building, which is nearly complete, is $4.6 million, according to previous Missourian reports. The construction was financed through grants and private donations. The revenue bond issue is intended to cover the remainder of the cost.

Phoenix Programs failed to respond to numerous requests for information about the cost of the building, how it would generate revenue to pay off the bonds, how many employees the expanded operation would add and whether it would treat more patients.

Construction on the new 28,000-square-foot facility began in November 2008 and will house all the program’s treatment centers, as previously reported in the Missourian.

It will allow space for more residential treatment, provide medical detoxification services for both men and women and integrated treatment for tobacco dependence. It will also allow for easier inpatient to outpatient transitioning, according to its Web site.

The Industrial Development Authority of Boone County issues tax-free industrial development bonds for commercial, industrial, agricultural and manufacturing facilities.

J. Scott Christianson, president of the authority, said the bond money would allow Phoenix Programs to expand its business, help residents of the community and create more jobs through the construction and the hiring of new employees.

The tax-exempt bonds will give Phoenix Programs the capital it needs at a low interest rate, and its bondholders will receive the interest accrued on the loan tax-free, Christianson said.

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