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Township, school district could get interest break from county bond program

 

Union Township and the Fairland school district could be the latest to benefit from the newly instituted county Neighborhood Investment Program.

That is a program whose goal is to boost the interest rates the county gets on its money by investing in projects of government entities in the county.

Recently County Treasurer Stephen Burcham bought a bond issued by the Proctorville Village Council for $200,000 that enabled the village to pay off a current loan it has with a Huntington, W.Va., bank that was coming due. The loan financed the village’s water plant. Burcham provided the village with terms of five years at 2 percent rate, more than three percent less than the terms of a bank.

At its inaugural meeting Thursday the county’s Investment Advisory Committee approved buying a bond to be issued from Union Township Trustees for $146,600 at 2 percent interest for four years. The township will use the money to buy two fire trucks.

The committee also approved buying bonds to be issued by the Fairland Local School District for $1.72 million at 2.15 percent over a 10-year period. That money will enable the school district to refinance debt acquired when it had new school construction.

“That’s a $389,264 savings,” Burcham said. “That is a pretty big number for a school district.”

Now both governmental entities have to accept the terms of the county before the investments will occur.

All three investments could provide the county with an interest rate higher than it would get under the current interest rate for certificates of deposit.

The newly formed committee, made up of the county treasurer, the three commissioners and clerk of courts, is an advisory body whose mission is to evaluate investment options and its makeup is mandated by Ohio Revised Code.

At the meeting Burcham was named chair of the committee, Clerk of Courts Mike Patterson, vice chair, and Commission President Les Boggs, secretary. The committee will meet monthly.

The county treasurer’s office recently certified the first half real estate tax collection of $16,389,732 to the auditor’s office to be reconciled. That is almost $1 million more than this time last year. Manufactured homes brought in $346,000 or $23,000 more than in the first half of 2011.

Burcham attributes this to more aggressive collection efforts of his office.