County will refund bonds to save on interest costs

Contributing Writer

Anoka County is entering the bond market to refund two 2008 bond issues, saving interest costs and taxpayers’ money.

On the recommendation of its Finance and Capital Improvements Committee, the Anoka County Board March 7 adopted a resolution setting March 27 for the sale of some $17.185 million in general obligation capital improvement refunding bonds.

According to Cory Kampf, finance and central services division manager, two capital improvement bonds were issued by the County Board in 2008, one to finance the reconstruction of the Highway 10-Hanson Boulevard interchange in Coon Rapids and the other for various reconstruction projects on Main Street (County State Aid Highway 14) in the Blaine area.

By refunding the bonds now, the county stands to save $1.66 million or 8.47 percent over the life of the bonds, which mature in 2030, Kampf said.

That far exceeds the 3 percent minimum savings in refunding bonds required under state law, he said.

The lower interest rate will translate into debt service savings annually of $170,000 beginning with the 2018 tax levy, Kampf said.

According to Kampf, a projected increase in the prime interest rate in March by the Federal Reserve Board may change that number a little bit.

Refunding the bonds to save tax dollars does not extend the life of the original bonds, said County Commissioner Matt Look, who chairs the finance and capital improvements committee.

“To achieve lower interest rates, we try and refund bonds as much as possible,” Look said.

The refunding bonds will be sold competitively March 27 with the board scheduled to approve the sale at its March 28 meeting.