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Commissioners approve bond refinancing deal

Posted: April 5, 2014 - 11:07pm

Columbia County commissioners voted Tuesday to approve the refinancing of almost $9 million in water and sewer bonds in a deal which should save taxpayers more than $1 million.

At Tuesday’s commission meeting, officials heard a presentation from Andrew Tritt from Merchants Capital, which proposed the refinancing of $8.9 million in bonds that were originally issued in 2004.

Tritt said they had solicited offers from 14 regional banks about three weeks ago.

The best offer came from Regions Bank, which would lower the bond interest rate from 4.6 percent to 2.5 percent, Tritt said.

Tritt explained that the lower rate will save the county about $100,000 per year over the life of the bonds, which were set to mature in 2025.

He said no additional years will be added to the bond debt under this refinancing.

“This will not extend the debt,” he said.

County Finance Director Leanne Reece said she had been watching bond interest rates for a while, waiting for the right time to refinance the debt.

“The gross savings will be $1.54 million over the remaining term,” Reece said.

Commissioners approved the bond refinancing unanimously.

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