Archive for Friday, May 4, 2012

Douglas County refinances debt to take advantage of low interest rates

May 4, 2012

Historic low interest rates have resulted in $940,00 worth of savings for Douglas County.

This week, the Douglas County Commission approved refinancing bonds that are paying off the Douglas County Jail and projects in special assessment districts.

Over the past few years, the county has kept an eye on dropping interest rates, but refinancing the bonds hadn’t made financial sense until now, according to Sarah Plinsky, assistant county administrator. And, the county decided that rates were so good that they should refinance now instead of waiting to package the bonds with upcoming projects that would require issuing debt.

“We are really trying to move fast to take advantage of the savings,” Plinsky said.

The interest rates are on four bonds, one of which won’t be paid off until 2021. In the next nine years, the lower interest rates will save the county more than $940,00. This year alone, the county expects to pay $90,000 less in interest because of the refinancing.

The savings frees up sales tax authority money that could be used for other projects. Right now, the county is faced with having to replace the radio system that is the backbone for 911 calls. Upgrading the system will cost about $7 million.

“(The refinancing) makes it easier for us to make it happen,” Plinsky said.

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