County nets nice savings with bond refinancing

A bond sale that will provide money to refinance county capital improvement bonds originally issued in 2003 will save Washington County more than $4.275 million in the coming decade. The Washington County Board approved the bond sale Feb. 14. The winning bid for the bond sale, which was conducted Feb. 13, was Piper Jaffray & Co. The amount of bonds issued is $22.475 million, at an interest cost of 1.826 percent. It is estimated the refinancing of the bonds will save the county about $400,000 a year in interest on the bonds. The bond proceeds were used to build service centers in Cottage Grove and Forest Lake, and for park land acquisition. During the bond refinancing, the county received affirmed ratings of Aaa from Moody’s Investor Services and AAA from Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services. The ratings and bond sale process highlighted the county’s responsible spending and use of financing tools; strong, capable, disciplined leadership; strong budget guidelines and long-term planning; and the ability to effectively deal with uncertainty. The county has a healthy tax environment and has avoided risks associated with dependence on federal funds or proprietary business ventures.