Sups approve GO bond refinance

The Hamilton County Board of Supervisors Tuesday morning authorized and approved the second half of the refinancing of general obligation bonds which totaled $6.252 million.

In December, the county approved a $10 million refinancing of bonds. The package was designed to provide funding for the remodeling of the former UAW Hall, the new home of Hamilton County Public Health for approximately $200,000. Also included in the funds was $600,000 for a Hamilton County Conservation Board project that would construct five new sleeping cabins in parks around the county. The refinancing will also benefit Van Diest Medical Center by saving nearly $1 million in interest. The refinancing of loans on two other completed county projects – the courthouse parking lot and Red Bull Drive – would also mean savings for the county.

“This turned into an interesting scenario,” said Supervisor David Young. “We had (refinanced) the first $10 million which included the county’s portion of the debt in December. We got some very attractive interest rates.”

Young said the county was restricted to refinancing just $10 million per year so the plan called for the initial offering to be finalized in late December and the second portion – approximately $6.25 million – to be finalized in the first few weeks of January.

“With all that was going on in Washington, D.C. and the ‘fiscal cliff,’ the bond market went crazy for a while,” Young said. “It was to the point that there was no advantage to refinancing.”

But after a week to 10 days, the market appeared to settle down.

“The savings were retained again, not quite as much as in December, but pretty close,” Young said.

At that time, Young said the board decided to move ahead with the project, and the hospital will still have a substantial interest savings.

Tuesday morning, the board also accepted the resignation of Adria Kester who had served as the assistant Hamilton County attorney. She has served several years in the position and she was recently appointed as a district associate court judge.