Commissioners looking to refinance bonds

By Wayne Allen

August 3, 2013

Wayne Allen

PDT Staff Writer

According to, Todd Book, Scioto County Interim Economic Development Director, the Scioto County Commissioners are looking to refinance existing bonds. He said if the move is successful, the savings could be hundreds of thousands of dollars over the life of the bonds.

“We’re going through the extensive process currently of trying to refinance the bonds that currently exist. The county has a lot of bonds out there that we’re making payments on every year. Presently we’re paying a little over seven percent interest on most of those bonds,” Book said. “If anyone has been following the bond rates of the world, that’s quite a bit higher than bonds are going for right now.”

Book said the county is going through that process in an effort to obtain a better interest rate.

“We are working with bond council to get that rates in the three to three and a half percent range. If that were to work out, we’re looking at tens of thousands of dollars in savings every year and hundreds of thousands of dollars over the life of the bonds,” Book said. “Right now the bond council is arranging for us to meet with Moody’s (Investment Services) in Chicago, Illinois, to try to make this happen.”

Book said the commissioners are hoping to have worked out a better rate on existing bonds by the end of the year.

Mike Crabtree, Chairman of the Scioto County Commissioners has stated the money the county saves by refinancing its bonds could be enough to move forward with the purchase of the courthouse annex. Crabtree said the county is currently looking at a number of options it can utilize to save money that will be put towards to cost of purchasing the building.

Crabtree acknowledged the county must work within the limitations set by the Scioto County Financial Recovery and Supervision Commission. The commission has to approve any and all debt the county enters into and also has approval authority for a number of other items.

A special meeting of the commission would have to be called to consider the purchase before the county could officially buy the building.

Crabtree said the purchase of the building could be done one of two ways.

“We could possibly enter into a long term lease with Ken Rase (owner of the building) or buy it directly, depending on how we would work this out,” Crabtree said.

According to information obtained from the Scioto County Auditors office in 2012, the county made payments totaling $976,124.54 on seven bonds.

At the recent meeting of the Scioto county Financial Planning and Supervision Commission a measure was approved to transfer $400,000 to pay off a various purpose bond.

“A few years back $500,000 was borrowed when the budget was tight, to help make payroll,” Crabtree said. “This was discussed with one of the people that handle our bonds and my understanding was that was OK to do. That was one of the things they used to put us (Scioto County) in fiscal emergency.”

Wayne Allen may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 228, or For breaking news, follow Wayne on Twitter @WayneallenPDT.