Commissioners refinance jail bonds, save $800,000

Commissioner Robert King, Lincoln County Clerk April Brunski, Commissioner Jerry Harmon, Lincoln County Attorney Spencer Allred and Rick Thompson from the law firm of Hathaway & Kunz finalize paperwork to refinance the county jail bond. // By Mysti Willmon

In a meeting on March 15, Lincoln County finished paperwork to refinance a bond for the construction of the Justice Center and the jail. The jail bonds are being refinanced through Sterling National Bank in California in order to lower the interest rate of the remaining balance.

According to bond counsel Rick Thompson with the law firm of Hathaway & Kunz, the process has taken about three months. Thompson said a lot of boards similar to the Lincoln County Commisson refinance their bonds later in the payback timeline.

“It’s pretty typical,” Thompson said.

This process of refinancing will save the county over $800,000, or 1.35 million in 2012 dollars on the original bond. The refinancing will lower lease payment from $330,000 every six months to $290,000 every six months, according to Thompson. This saves the county $80,000 a year.

“It is big savings,” Commissioner Robert King said. “It couldn’t have come at a better time.” The county, as well as the rest of the state, will be facing increasing budget cuts because of the impact of COVID-19.

Gov. Mark Gordon presented the Wyoming Legislature with $515 million in cuts to the budget on Monday, March 1. A portion of the cuts was already implemented in the summer of 2020 in order to combat COVID-19 costs. Most of the cuts target vulnerable populations, however, cuts from county and city budgets could be significant as well. Wyomingites won’t know until the legislature passes down their decision. For now, most budgeting is up in the air.

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