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Commissioners weigh options for Justice Center

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Posted: Tuesday, April 2, 2013 12:00 am

SEGUIN — Guadalupe County commissioners will hold a workshop meeting to discuss options for financing construction projects at 10 a.m. Tuesday in the commissioners courtroom at the Justice Center.

The workshop was suggested by County Judge Larry Jones after a presentation by Duane Westerman of Samco Capital Markets Inc. during the commissioners court meeting on March 26.

Westerman described options for financing two projects getting under way to finish out the second floor of the Justice Center and to replace the air conditioning system at the county jail and sheriff’s office with a water chiller system.

Westerman recommended that the two projects, costing $7.7 million, be financed by issuing certificates of obligation, and the court voted 4-1 to authorize publication of a notice concerning the proposed issuance of the certificates.

Westerman said the court still could decide not to issue the certificates of obligation or to issue less than $7.7 million, but publishing the required 30-day notice would speed up the process by enabling the court to take formal action as early as May 7. Westerman indicated that it could take up to an additional 30 days after voting to issue the certificates before the county received the money.

Jones voted against the resolution authorizing publication of the notice, saying he would prefer to have the workshop before taking such action.

“If you’re going forward with this plan, you’re going to have to borrow money somewhere,” Westerman told the court.

In July 2012, the court discussed using $5 million from county reserves for the finish-out of the Justice Center and replacing the air conditioning system at the jail and sheriff’s office and issuing debt for the other $2.7 million of the $7.7 million estimated cost of the projects.

The financial advisers’ options call for using the $5 million from reserves in other ways. Westerman suggested allocatingl $2.5 million or $3 million for refunding tax anticipation notes issued in 2009 for the original renovation of the Justice Center and construction of the parking garage. He said the remainder of the $5 million could be reserved for renovation of the courthouse, the probation office and the county agriculture building — improvements whose cost has been estimated at $5 million.

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1 comment:

  • Kelton Lange posted at 5:16 am on Wed, Apr 3, 2013.

    Kelton Lange Posts: 1

    Since interest rates are so low it would make sense to borrow the money needed. When interest goes up the reserve will draw more interest offsetting the debt.

    Kelton Lange