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Jail bonds set for 12 years

News editor

Interest rates for municipal bonds have remained low enough that Marion County may be able to end sales tax to fund construction of a new jail in eight to 12 years, David Arteberry of bond underwriters George K. Baum & Co. told Marion County Commission on Monday.

Because interest rates have remained low, he determined that the county would have more than enough revenue from the 0.5 percent sales tax to meet a 12-year bond schedule. He estimated the annual payments would be $345,000 per year. Based on an average of the past five years, projected annual sales tax revenue would be $527,000, about 50 percent more than the payments.

If revenue meets those projections, the tax for the jail could be canceled in eight years, he said. The local economy would have to fall into a “meltdown” for sales tax to not cover the payments, Arteberry said.

The timetable to issue the bonds has two remaining steps. On Jan. 23, Arteberry will ask the commission to pass a resolution to market the bonds. Final issuance of the bonds and locking in interest rates will occur Feb. 6, provided there are no complications before then.

Because of the commission’s desire to keep as much financing in county as possible, individuals in the county will have the first opportunity to purchase bonds, followed by local banks, and finally out-of-county investors.

Anyone interested in purchasing bonds, available only in minimums of $5,000, should call Arteberry at (800) 821-7195.

In order to legally sell bonds to local investors first, the county will have to refinance a 2002 bond issue that expires this year for the transfer station. The refinancing will cost the county between $1,000 and $2,000 extra, but the bond will be paid off at the scheduled time.

Annual reorganization

The commission conducted its annual reorganization. Dan Holub was elected commission chairman, and Randy Dallke was elected vice-chairman.

The Marion County Record was selected as the county’s official publisher of legal notices.

Commissioner Roger Fleming said he wanted to remain as the commission’s representative to the regional Juvenile Detention board. Dallke is nearing the term limit to serve on the Harvey-Marion County Community Developmental Disability Organization board.

In other business:

  • The commission approved encumbering $16,000 for fairground improvements, $50,000 in case the county gets a grant for window replacement, and $53,780 for a trailer to take waste from the transfer station to Butler County Landfill.
  • Dan Mount and Jim Schmidt were reappointed to the Planning and Zoning Board.
  • Road and Bridge Department will put rock on 0.25 miles of Bluestem Road between 170th and 180th roads at the request of USD 408. A family recently moved to the district, and rocking the stretch will simplify bus routes.
  • The county’s premium for liability, property, and vehicle insurance for the year will be $132,371 through The Insurance Center.
  • County Attorney Susan Robson and Economic Development Director Susan Robson met with the commission in closed session for 15 minutes to discuss matters protected by attorney-client privilege. Robson and the commission met for another five minutes. No action was taken on return to open session.
  • The Property Valuation Division of the Kansas Department of Revenue sent the county a letter certifying that County Appraiser Cindy Magill was in “substantial compliance” in 2011, following the state’s annual review.

The next scheduled commission meeting will be Tuesday.

Last modified Jan. 11, 2012

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