- Associated Press - Monday, April 14, 2014

SPRINGFIELD, La. (AP) - An audit of Carter Plantation Community Development District in Springfield reveals the district is falling further into the red as lot sales lag and bonds remain unpaid.

But an attorney for the district tells The Advocate (http://bit.ly/1hACXpC) it may be able to work out a deal with the investor who holds most of the district’s debt and most of its property.

An audit finds the district’s liabilities exceeded its assets by more than $7 million for the 2013 fiscal year, up from $5.5 million in 2012.

The difference was largely due to the district’s continued inability to pay down $18.5 million in outstanding bonds, the auditors said.

The district is a public entity organized under Livingston Parish government to create and finance the infrastructure for the subdivision.

The district issued a total of $23.6 million in tax-exempt bonds in 2004 and 2005 to build water and sewer systems and roads for the 726-acre golf course community near Springfield.

When the real estate market collapsed in 2008, development plans fell through and lot sales screeched to a halt.

The principal on the notes was set up to be paid with assessments collected on lot sales, and the developer was to pay interest twice a year.

Since no lots have sold in the past few years, those payments are not being made.

The last payment was made in 2009 when the district had to take funds from its debt service reserve to pay interest on the notes.

In 2010, when the development was “on death’s door,” the district entered into a pair of forbearance agreements on the bonds, said the district’s attorney, J. Patrick Beauchamp, of McGlinchey Stafford in New Orleans, on Friday.

Those agreements have been renewed annually, keeping the district out of default, but they cannot continue forever, he said.

___

Information from: The Advocate, http://theadvocate.com