Opinion

Supervisors approve bids and second bond for new communication building

Bids and a second bond for the new Washington County Communications building have been unanimously approved by the Washington County Board of Supervisors.

At their meeting on Tuesday, July 9, a bid was awarded to Carl A. Nelson & Company for general conditions and five separate bids were awarded to five separate contractors in packages: DeLong Construction Inc., Peak Construction Group Inc., Gary Sanders Masonry Inc., Frank Millard Company Inc., and Mohrfeld Electric Inc., for a total of $3,609,628.

In October 2018, the supervisors approved a bond of $3.5 million to begin the process. To fund the remainder of the $11.3 million project, Michael Hart, of Northland Securities, presented the board with two options.

The second bond, for $7.8 million, will cover the remainder of the equipment and building. The first option was to raise the tax levy by 6 cents and have the bonds mature in 2029. The second was to not raise taxes and have the county incur an additional $100,000 in interest by having the bonds mature in 2030.

Washington County Treasurer Jeff Garrett recommended the board look into the option to have the bonds mature in 2030 because it would allow for the county to not raise taxes and would only cost the county an additional $10,000 for the extra year.

“Over the life of the bonds, the extra $100,000 wouldn’t be a huge amount every year,” he said. Garrett explained by going with the 2029 maturity date, taxpayers would pay an additional $6 a year in taxes per $100,000 home evaluation.

“If you look at it in the grand scheme of things, $10,000 in extra interest wouldn’t be a huge thing,” he said, adding taxpayers would not see an increase by going with the 2030 date.

The supervisors agreed with Garrett’s suggestion and approved the bond maturity date of 2030.