County to refinance bonds

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By Lou Elliott Jones, Editor

When an investment banker comes calling it usually means it will cost someone money, but in Levy County's case it means a savings of approximately $300,000.

Ralph Cellon, senior vice president of Gardnyr Michael Capital, Inc., the firm which handles the sales tax revenue bonds used to finance the county jail expansion, told the Levy County Commission on Tuesday that refinancing the remaining portion of the $4.5 million bonds sold in 2003 would be in their best interest.

“Interest is the lowest now that it's been in 30 years,” he said. “This boils down to one thing, the opportunity for the county to save $300,000 at the rate of  $30,000 per year.”

The commission agreed and voted unanimously to refinance the bonds at the current lower interest rate of 2.286 percent — on average, compared to the current 4.3 percent on average. 

Cellon did advise the board that it could put the money it saved into a reserve account, but to have a plan for its use. He said if there was no plan in place the money would be spent “dribbling away in bits and pieces.” 

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