Many of the transactions with which Nabors, Giblin & Nickerson, P.A. has been involved have presented complex and challenging legal issues. NG&N prides itself on its ability to put together teams of experienced attorneys to meet the needs of its clients. NG&N is a leader in Florida in the development of innovative finance and revenue sources for public/private initiatives. We believe that NG&N's experience with bond financings and our experience in the development of alternative government structures and sources of revenue in Florida places us in a unique position to assist our clients with public/private initiatives. Our representation of local governments and developers in these types of projects starts in the very beginning with the development of a comprehensive term sheet, continues with the negotiation and preparation of implementing documents, and typically concludes with the issuance of debt obligations to finance the improvements. The following discussion of projects is not an exhaustive list but is intended to demonstrate representative projects to illustrate the special capacity of NG&N.
Interchanges are generally constructed with public funds. However, there are often circumstances in which property owners would receive a significant benefit by providing an incentive to begin interchange construction at an earlier date. Under such circumstances, NG&N has structured public-private partnership transactions to fund construction of highway interchanges and related improvements. Although each of these transactions was tailored individually, the general strategy was the same: (1) special assessments were imposed against property that would specially benefit from construction of the improvements; and (2) the local government contributed all or a portion of the tax increment from property surrounding the improvements to reduce the annual special assessments or granted transportation impact fee credits.
Mass transit often evolves from a local problem to one that requires multiple local governments to work together on a regional basis to solve the problem and achieve a higher level of regional service. In the past and with the consent of the local governments, NG&N has assisted local governments in establishing regional special districts with overlapping municipal service taxing units to secure financings and fund the transportation and related services provided by the districts.
NG&N has assisted local governments and private developers to construct toll roads. Private payments are often used to augment toll revenues, the combination of which secure the bonds issued to finance the toll road. The combination of tolls and private payments can result in construction of a road without the necessity to pledge gas taxes or other governmental revenues.
Local business owners and developers often approach local governments with innovative ideas for the revitalization and economic improvement of a particular area. NG&N typically works closely with local businesses and the local government to develop a methodology to allocate the cost of these improvements among the various commercial property owners in the area. In addition to development of the assessment methodology and implementing documentation, NG&N typically assists with the issuance of long term financing secured by the assessments so that construction of the project can begin immediately.
In addition to assisting local governments with the planning, review and implementation of special assessments for general capital and maintenance projects related to utility systems, NG&N has also assisted clients with the development of utility projects with regional impact in undeveloped areas. Typically, this involves the development of special assessments, which secure bonds issued to fund construction of utility plant facilities. These assessments are imposed on a "two-tier" basis. In the first tier, the costs to construct the plant's basic infrastructure are assessed, on an involuntary basis, against a wide area to be served by the plant at build-out. In the second tier, developers desiring immediate capacity from the plant are also assessed for capacity improvements to serve all or a portion of their ultimate capacity needs. As a result of this approach, utility services are made available to property owners in the undeveloped areas without any adverse rate impact on residents in the developed areas of the local government.
NG&N has assisted local government and developers with the construction and expansion of certain regional collector roads and other local improvements adjacent to roads such as drainage, irrigation, landscaping and other related improvements. In many cases, this allows a road to often be constructed or expanded years in advance of any planned state or local project, without the use of local government revenues. In these projects, NG&N typically assists with the development of an assessment methodology, negotiation of any development or road construction agreements, preparation of implementing documents and often serves as bond counsel in the financing to assure that the project is financed and funds are available to start the project as quickly as possible.
NG&N has become a leader in Florida in the development, implementation and financing of large planned communities utilizing community development districts to provide infrastructure to the communities. A description of our practice can be found under Public Finance.