Jail bond maturity reduced by 8 years due to interest rates

Bond term maturity on the new Marion County jail under construction is being shortened from 20 years to 12 with possibly even earlier pay-off because of favorable interest rates and high designated sales tax collections.

David Arteberry, bond consultant with the George K. Baum Co. of Kansas City, told the Marion County Commission Monday that it may even be able to collect sufficient funds in as little as six years, thus being able to end the special sales tax early.

Bond rates have dropped to the 2.0 to 2.7 percent level, with the probable ending county payout level somewhere near 2.5 percent, thus shortening the needed term, he said.

?Good tax collections and low interest rates make a real difference,? Arteberry said.

He noted that the county was able to receive $527,000 in special sales tax in 2011 to give the project a good start even before actual bond issuance is done in February.

He assured County Clerk Carol Maggard that county general funds already used in construction can be reimbursed from bonds at that time.

Arteberry expects first marketing of bonds to begin the end of January with the opportunity to buy first by Marion County residents, then Marion County banks, and then bond market bidders.

The final amount, he said, would include ending payoff of county bonds issued in 2002 for the county waste transfer station.

Arteberry said county residents interested in buying bonds for a minimum purchase of $5,000 may call him, or be referred to another appropriate person, at his office at 800-821-7195.

Commissioner Dan Holub was appointed to a one-year term as commission chairman by unanimous commission vote, succeeding Commissioner Roger Fleming, and Commissioner Randy Dallke was appointed vice-chairman.

Commissioners and members of the Friends of Marion County Lake Association, with 47 trailer owners and four interested lake homeowners as members, discussed regulations for the trailer area for commission approval.

Association Chairman Jeff Stoppel read through proposed regulations before the commission with County Lake Superintendent Steve Hudson saying he liked a proposal for lake residents to pay rent quarterly.

Holub called for inspections for wiring safety be paid by buyers and sellers before trailers are sold, noting that some residents have run heavier electrical loads in older trailers with aluminum wiring than for which they were designed.

Modern homes are wired with copper, he said.

Hudson said he has been in contact with the Guinness World Book of Records with a proposal to burn the big brush pile of wood at the lake cut in the last year as for a world record try on March 24 for the most people ever to participate in a marshmallow roast.

Participants would be divided into groups of 50 with a short increment of time each to scorch marshmallows according to taste, he said.

He will be contacting marshmallow companies for possible sponsorship, and inviting organized groups participation.

The commissioners told him they would have no problem with the event.

Hudson reported 2011 revenue at the lake of $99,574, slightly down from the previous year?s $100,000 season, but still good considering high heat levels and blue-green algae infestation season interruptions.

County Appraiser Cindy Magill told commissioners she has two persons going out together on reappraisals to help ensure their safety if they run into drug situations or encounter hostile reactions from residents. She confirmed that in past reappraisals at least one firearm was discharged by a member of the public.

The commissioners approved Magill paying $1,211.90 to the Kansas Association for Orien appraisal upgrade for the state.

The commissioners approved a 3 percent upgrade to $132,371 county property insurance upgrade with $450,000 per incident upgrade with agents Richard Nickel of Hillsboro and Casey Case of Marion.

They heard proposals from Jeff Stoppel of Benefits Direct of Kansas City for consolidated supplemental benefits health insurance that unifies programs from multiple companies at best rates for maximum coverage.

The commissioners met in 20 minutes of executive session with County Attorney Susan Robson and Economic Development Director Teresa Huffman for attorney-client privilege.

They designated the Marion County Record as the county?s publisher of legal notices.

The commissioners approved designating all Marion County banking institutions authorized by law for deposit of county funds for 2012.

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