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Iron County looks at refinancing construction bonds

 

Cortney Ofstad/Daily Globe

DAVE DEYOUNG, of Stifel, Nicolaus and Company in Brookfield, Wis., discuss refinancing courthouse construction bonds from 2004 during an Iron County Finance Committee meeting at the Iron County Courthouse in Hurley, Thursday.

HURLEY — The Iron County Finance Committee heard a presentation from a representative from Stifel, Nicolaus and Company Inc ., of Brookfield, Wis ., about refinancing courthouse construction bonds during a meeting at the Iron County Courthouse Thursday.

Dave DeYoung, senior vice president of the public finance department, spoke to the committee about different options in refinancing, as well as “substantial” savings for the county. The original bond from 2004 was $3.2 million.

The eight-year program would save the county $179,513 in debt service savings, approximately $20,000-25,000 a year.

“The savings were over $300,000 originally, when I began working with the county on possibly refinancing,” DeYoung said. “Now with changes in interest, it’s just under $200,000.”

DeYoung told the committee the county could pull out of the program at anytime, but lawyers fees and other expenses could come at the cost of the county.

Throughout the program, DeYoung said he will continue to update the county to help minimize the county’s costs and make sure that the outcome is successful.

On Sept. 12, the committee will review the transaction and initial resolution and on Sept. 24, the county board will either approve or deny the resolution.

The general obligation promissory notes will be closed and delivered on Dec. 3, and the redemption of the 2004 bonds will take place on Feb. 28, 2014.

The committee did not take any official action on the presentation.

Tax delinquent properties

Clerk Mike Saari addressed the committee about 16 tax-delinquent properties in the county.

According to Saari, all of the properties are delinquent for four years, 2009-2012. To delay the county taking property, property owners have to pay the taxes from the furthest year of delinquency, 2009. If they pay taxes for 2009, they are “off the hook” for another year, according to Saari.

If the property is taken by the county, and the property owner wants it back, the owner is required to pay all four years of taxes upfront and an additional $500 penalty.

Saari said the county is trying to help where it can, with a couple of businesses and homes that are delinquent, but within the next month, things are going to get “serious.”

“I want to help wherever I can, because I don’t want to have to kick someone out of their home,” Saari said. “But after our August committee meeting is when this is going to happen if things aren’t paid.”

Other business

The committee approved a motion to hire an economic support specialist for the human services department.

The position would be funded by the state and won’t cost the county any money, according to Saari. The job is expected to last between nine and 15 months, but, depending on performance, could become a full-time position.

A motion was approved to have the human services department post the position as soon as possible.