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Our Bond Counsel Practice: How We Serve Townships

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John M. Kamins and Scott H. Hogan
Foster Swift Municipal Law News
April 24, 2018

Foster Swift is a nationally recognized Bond Counsel and Disclosure Counsel firm. We advise and represent Michigan townships on all aspects of borrowing money and issuing bonds, and also public private partnership (P3) projects. This includes USDA Rural Development (RD) loans for eligible borrowers and bonds directly purchased by banks, as well as competitive sales pursuant to a published notice of sale and negotiated public offerings with underwriters.

We serve townships throughout Michigan from our Southfield, Grand Rapids and Lansing offices, all listed in The Bond Buyer’s Municipal Marketplace (aka “Red Book”), the national directory of municipal bond lawyers.

Our Bond Counsel practice has earned a reputation for excellent, efficient and highly responsive service to our township clients. We counsel and lead them from their earliest inquiry on financing a project or refinancing debt, through every step of planning, authorizing, securitizing, selling and issuing every kind of bonds -- including tax-exempt bonds and sometimes federally taxable bonds, special assessment bonds, voter approved general obligation bonds, tax increment bonds and judgment bonds -- and also tax anticipation notes and installment purchase agreements.

When serving as Disclosure Counsel, we advise and assist townships on performing their disclosure duties for new bonds and fulfilling their Continuing Disclosure obligations thereafter. We drafted a Michigan city’s Municipal Bond Disclosure Policies and Procedures and trained and retrained its officials on performing their disclosure responsibilities under federal securities laws.

Our bond-financed projects encompass all kinds of public buildings and equipment, streets, bridges, streetscapes, drains, water supply and wastewater treatment systems, museums, stadiums, hospitals and medical care facilities, as well as Private Activity Bonds for manufacturing, solid waste disposal and qualified 501(c)(3) facilities. Our experience also includes financing and refinancing city and county unfunded accrued liabilities for pensions and retiree medical benefits (aka OPEB).

We advise our township clients on state laws and federal tax and securities laws and regulations. For townships and other municipal bond issuers, we draft their ballot proposals for voter approval of millages or unlimited tax general obligation bonds, and their bond authorizing resolutions or ordinances, notices of intent to issue bonds, notices of sale, intergovernmental contracts, Official Statements, Continuing Disclosure Undertakings and applications for Michigan Department of Treasury approval when needed.

Besides being Bond Counsel for our township, city, county, village, drainage district, district library, school district and charter school clients, Foster Swift has served as Bond Counsel to the State of Michigan, the Michigan Finance Authority and the Michigan Strategic Fund.

When we are not an issuer’s Bond Counsel and/or Disclosure Counsel, we sometimes are Underwriter’s or Placement Agent’s Counsel for municipal bonds. We also counsel clients on defaulted and troubled bond issues.

We invite and welcome your municipal bonds and debt questions. For more information regarding our bond counsel services, contact John Kamins at jkamins@fosterswift.com or at 248.785.4727 and Scott Hogan at shogan@fosterswift.com or at 616.726.2207.