(The County of Bland, Virginia) – The Board of Supervisors of Bland County approves debt refinancing that secures future savings.
Renovations were made to the Courthouse of Bland County in 2002 at a cost of approximately 3.5 million dollars. The debt associated with the project was financed at an interest rate of 4.625% with the final payment set for the year 2040 which required an annual debt service payment of $196,140.
“In September, a finance meeting was called for the Board to look closely at the County’s finances. Out of that meeting, an opportunity to refinance the debt associated with the Courthouse renovation project was identified and perused” according to Board Chairman Nick Asbury. Through the use of the Virginia Resources Authority Pooled Financing Program, the County was able to apply for refinancing of the debt associated with the Courthouse with considerable savings.
With a motion by Vice-Chairman Henry Blessing and seconded by Board Member Karen Hodock, along with full support of all members of the Board, the application for refinancing the Courthouse was set in motion at the October Board of Supervisors’ meeting. “This was an easy motion to make. Whenever an opportunity such as this arises, the Board needs to take notice” according the Henry Blessing.
The annual debt service will remain approximately to same. However, with a new interest rate of 2.4%, the final payment date was reduced by eight years to the year 2032 with a total savings of $1,143,446.73 over the life of the loan. “As the financial woes of the federal and state governments make their way down to localities, it is up to local leaders to work diligently to identify and approve cost savings, especially when there is not a negative impact to services being provided” according to Karen Hodock.
This action continues with the attempts of the Board to identify cost saving measures. Such as the partnership with the School Board in the Spring of 2012 to pay off the debt associated with school renovations conducted in the 1990s. That action reduced this year’s County budget by approximately $70,000. “As the State and the Federal Government place more and more unfunded mandates on localities, the Board has to look for ways to cover rising costs associated with state and federal programs” according the Board Member Randy Johnson.
The Board of Supervisors was updated about the VRA Bond Sale at the November Board of Supervisors meeting this past Tuesday, November 27th. According to Nick Asbury, “The Board will continue to work to identify measures by which cost savings can be achieved.”