United Bank helps MOV regional airport

PARKERSBURG – United Bank came to the rescue of the Mid-Ohio Valley Regional Airport last week, enabling the airport to get out from under a line of credit while providing a lower interest option for refinancing.

“It was wonderful the way United Bank came through for us and it was amazing how quickly they were able to get it through. We were able to pay it off. And with the lower 4 percent interest rate, we can pay on the principal and hopefully get it taken care of within a couple of years, whereas with the BB&T loan we would have been looking at only being able to pay the interest with the higher rate,” said Terry Moore, airport manager. Moore said he was glad to have the matter settled.

“I really appreciate what United Bank was able to do for us. It’s kind of amazing. They saved us closing costs, which would have been about $2,000. That would have just been lost money. Over a year’s time, which is what we were looking at signing up for, the savings would conservatively total about $5,000. That’s money we can apply directly to the principal to help reduce the loan we were able to get through United Bank,” Moore said.

After meeting with the county commissioners last Monday, Moore said he had pretty much accepted the fact he was going to have to settle with BB&T, who had the line of credit for the airport, and sign papers to refinance at the higher 6 1/2 percent interest rate. “It still seemed wrong, I thought we could do better. Then when the CEO of United, Richard Adams called me, that was greatly appreciated. We were able to get it through so I could pay off BB&T otherwise we would have been signing up to refinance at the higher rate,” Moore said. “He said he was doing it because it was good for the community, that the airport was a community asset,” Moore said.

“After learning about the problems through a newspaper article, Richard Adams contacted the airport manager and invited him down to talk about it. When it was over, United gave them the money to pay off the line of credit. That was a pretty nice thing to do, it was a great gesture and saved the airport money they can keep in their coffers,” said commission President Wayne Dunn, who serves as commission liaison to the airport board.

“United was able to offer the airport a loan with sufficient funds to close out the BB&T line of credit and, not require collateral initially,” Dunn said. The commission president said the loan is for 12 months at 4 percent tied to the prime rate with no closing costs and no early prepayment penalty.

During last Monday’s meeting with the commission, Moore said the airport had established the line of credit through BB&T prior to him becoming manager. He was notified the account was being called in, with closing set for Tuesday afternoon.

“Because the airport was short on funds for a while, they were paying interest only on the line of credit,” Moore told the commissioners. The account was for five years, renewable annually. The original amount was $200,000, it’s now $185,000. “Last year we were able to start paying more back. We’ve now paid $15,000. In the meantime, without notification to us, apparently BB&T moved that division of their operations to Florida so our financials didn’t get there and it appears they are trying to close these accounts out,” Moore told the commissioners last week. He said the airport would have had to pay closing costs and was looking at a higher interest rate and higher monthly payments to continue with BB&T.

He told the commissioners one option was to get a lower interest loan to pay off the debt. Moore said he’d been in contact with a local bank about that possibility. “But it would take several days to work out the transaction, in the meantime the note is coming due.” Moore noted the loan was uncollateralized because airport property is not salable. County officials discussed the possibility of the county acting as co-signer on a new loan to pay off the debt.

Moore also suggested the possibility of taking some of the county’s savings, which he noted are earning one percent or less in interest, and providing a short-term loan for the airport to pay off the line of credit until airport officials were able to secure a lower interest loan to repay the county.