PORTSMOUTH — With interest rates at historic lows the Scioto County Commissioners have been working since March 2021 with County Auditor David Green to refund or refinance 12 of the county’s outstanding bonds.
Through the refunding of the bonds, the total debt service of $6,011,815 was refunded to $4,963,687. This results in a $1,048,128 savings to the county and ultimately Scioto County taxpayers throughout the life of the bonds.
“This is a big win for the county,” said Commissioner Bryan Davis. “This is actually the second big win for the county in less than a week. First with the county’s upgraded credit rating and now this savings of over a million dollars.”
On May 6, Moody’s Investors Service upgraded Scioto County’s credit rating from an A1 rating to a Aa3 rating. This upgrade is the second upgrade to the county’s credit rating in three years. The rating reflects Moody’s assessment of the creditworthiness of the county.
“This is a testament to how hard we have worked to improve the finances of the county and how we continue to work to be good stewards of the taxpayers’ money,” Commissioner Cathy Coleman said. Coleman went on to thank the parties involved in the process including her fellow commissioners, Auditor David Green, attorneys with Dinsmore & Shohl, and underwriters with the Robert W. Baird and Company.
“Our next task is how do we leverage these new savings and credit rating for future development,” said Commissioner Scottie Powell. “It is exciting to be in a financial situation where we can be strategic and play offense as we are looking at the different infrastructure, economic, and tourism initiatives that we are focused on.”
The bonds included in the refunding raged from bonds issued starting in 1993 to 2006 for improvement and expansion projects on the multiple sewer systems within the county.
During their Thursday meeting, the commissioners added that life cycles on bonds would be a 27% savings- a “huge win” Davis said. With $44,000 invested into the process, the savings were a bonus for the county and go toward a variety of current and future projects.
“If we don’t have the ability to build and bond, it limits the ability for the county to grow,” said Davis. “That is what has happened historically in Scioto County and that turned around seven years ago.”
Davis added the county has in that time been able to grow financially through its many partnerships, despite fiscal challenges of the past.
Now, he feels others are beginning to take notice.
“There must be some magic sauce in the work here to make that possible,” he said. “It’s diligence, it’s perseverance, and getting in there and doing the gut-wrenching work to make it happen.”
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