Archived Story

Refinancing saves county money

Published 11:29am Thursday, December 1, 2011

County board members and day-to-day administrators take pride when they can save money for county taxpayers. Savings of $536,050 will be realized through the refinancing of a $5.4 million bond at the low rate of 1.33 percent.

Board members say they fully understand that county residents, through their hard-earned money, help provide county services.

“We want to be good stewards of those dollars,” said County Board Chairman John Lindquist.

The low bid came from United Bankers of Bloomington. Refunding, which will run from 2012 to 2019, was approved Tuesday by the Otter Tail County Board of Commissioners.

Coordinating the refinancing for the county is Ehlers & Associates of Roseville, Minn. Included is Government Services Revenue Bond Series 2002A.

In addition, the county board also approved new financing, through a bond sale, of $4.7 million that’s needed for courthouse improvements and county detention center costs. The low bid of 2.45 percent came from Baird of Milwaukee, Wis.

“This financing includes courthouse improvements and jail-related costs as part of the 2011 county facilities master plan,” said County Auditor Wayne Stein who works closely with Ehlers.

Remodeling of the courthouse south of downtown Fergus Falls has a projected cost of $14 million. With rebonding there will be no drastic changes to property taxes in Otter Tail County.

Renovation of the courthouse is being done in three phases. Employees of the various departments are providing their input before final decisions are reached.

Some projects are nearing completion.

If all goes according to plan, employees will be working at the new dispatch center, on the second floor of the courthouse, before the end of the year. A major reason for the move, in addition to being close to the sheriff’s department on the second floor, is the changeover to the new 800 MHz system.

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