million in general obligation public improvement bonds, saving
taxpayers $18 million in interest over the next 10 years.
Finance Director Dena Diorio describes the refunding as the same as
refinancing a home loan and taking the mortgage at a lower interest
rate. The new bonds were refunded by Wells Fargo for approximately 10
years at a rate of 2.3%. The average annual saving is $1.5 million
over the life of the deal for a total saving of $18 million.
The refunding was authorized by the Board of County Commissioners at
its Feb. 3, 2009 meeting. The sale took place on Wednesday to take
advantage of current conditions in the municipal bond market.
"We have always looked for ways to save taxpayers' money," says
Diorio. "We were able to take advantage of a narrow window of
opportunity in the bond market to get a better rate on these bonds."
Also at its February 3 meeting, the Board approved the recommendation
of County Manager Harry L. Jones Sr., to delay borrowing $253 million
in bonds until next year's operating budget is developed. The delay
will reduce a projected $90 million budget gap for next year (FY2010)
by approximately $18.3 million. Borrowing the $253 million may be put
off until FY2010 to defer incurring additional debt service costs