Final savings for reissuing old county bonds is $30,242

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN JERRY ENGLER
The final savings Marion County achieved by reissuing new bonds to pay off existing 1997 and 2000 bonds were estimated at $30,242 at the Marion County Commission payday meeting Monday.

That was $1,000 to $1,500 more than first estimated because, said David Arteberry of George K. Baum & Co., a bond sales agency, interest rates are down, and bond investors were willing to pay premiums above face value in a market where most issuers of tax-exempt municipal bonds have already done so for the lower rates.

Arteberry said expectations that interest rates will go up with the economy improving failed to affect the bond issuance because the market has anticipated economic improvement for so long it was already taken into account.

The commissioners passed a resolution to issue the bonds, around an $800,000 transaction, which locked in rates that averaged 1.73 percent compared to 4.77 percent on the original bonds. Payments from the county will be equal each year through 2007.

Arteberry said the entire bond sales with expenses was accomplished out of bond proceeds with no additional county funds needed.

The move put the county, which already was in a strong credit position, he said, into an even stronger one which will reduce problems should it ever need funds for other projects.

County Clerk Carol Maggard reported the latest monthly sales tax receipt of $36,174, which means the county is down $10,655 for sales taxes collected the first 11 months of the year compared to a year ago. Annual sales taxes were down $4,274 in 2002, up $12,035 in 2001, down $9,140 in 2000, up $3,025 in 1999, and up $18,642 in 1998, she said.

Maggard received a call from APAC-Kansas that the concrete contractor would work on paving the courthouse parking lot Tuesday, but delay sealing it until spring because of cold weather.

The commissioners approved a cereal malt beverage license for Canada Bait ‘N’ Tackle.

Sheriff Lee Becker was on the meeting agenda, but couldn’t appear because of a hay fire west of Hillsboro.

The commissioners approved a proposal from County Appraiser Dianna Carter to spend about $1,200 to integrate her office’s computer server domain into the county server which should save money when the county server is upgraded in the future. She said the server is kept separately from the county’s to enable functions such as mapping.

The commissioners authorized Tom Holub, county garage supervisor, to spend $550 to buy a used wire welder that he has already tried out extensively in preparing a brine tank for winter road treatment applications.

They authorized a letter of thanks to Virginia Downing for the job she has done on the board of directors for the North-Central/ Flint Hills Area Agency on Aging after receiving her resignation.

The commissioners directed David Brazil, as transfer station manager, to reconsider policies for closing the trash facilities on days other county offices are closed because of the public need to use it then.

Commission Chairman Howard Collett said the public seems to want it open between holidays and weekends, and on Monday holidays.

Commissioner Leroy Wetta said the station will need to be treated more like a utility or commercial enterprise for open hours than like a governmental unit.

Joan Ottensmeier, deeds office clerk, and Darryl Thiesen, emergency medical service director, were nominated by commissioners for the next Leadership Marion County class.

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