WILMINGTON — Rather than paying with checks, Clinton County commissioners plan to do bond financing to pay the costs of the ongoing renovation of county government buildings.
On Wednesday, the rates of the 10-year bond financing were locked in. The remaining step in the process before commissioners take action by April 12 is for the county’s legal counsel on bond financing to review the paperwork.
The bond financing is for about $5.8 million in the renovation project involving the courthouse, county prosecutor’s office and the veterans service commission building.
Paying through bond financing instead of with on-hand cash makes sense, county commissioners said, because with the money back in the county’s hands it can be invested and investment earnings are anticipated to be higher than the bond’s interest expense.
Omar Ganoom, managing director of public finance for Boenning & Scattergood, advised commissioners Wednesday that what’s called the true interest cost out to the year 2025 is 1.88 percent.
The county’s credit rating stands at AA, according to Ganoom.
“The financial condition of the county is very strong. The fund balance is good. The unemcumbered balances are good,” Ganoom said at the commissioners meeting.
“You know, DHL really hurt you bad a while back. And that was pretty negative. But now things are starting to stabilize, and I think there’s improvement there,” said Ganoom. “And plus the county’s doing well financially in the sense that spending is pretty much under control here.
“You have opportunity to do other projects without any kind of real pain to the unencumbered fund balances,” he added.
A Standard & Poor’s rating report, said Ganoom, basically says that even if the county comes under some type of financial stress, county government at this point should have enough reserves to cover the financial stress.
In other news from the commissioners session:
• In discussing a written draft for an upcoming Request For Proposal (RFP) to serve as site administrator for the county’s website, Clinton County Commissioner Kerry R. Steed said the RFP’s desired “scope of services” to be performed should include an ability to provide security to reduce or eliminate security threats from outside agencies.
• Commissioners proclaimed April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month in the county. The proclamation certificate states “it is critical to foster greater public awareness of the causes and effects of sexual violence, and to address this problem on every civic level.”
Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768 or on Twitter @GHuffenberger.