Athens Review, Athens, Texas

May 14, 2013

County opts to refinance jail bond

Rich Flowers
The Athens Review

ATHENS — The Henderson County Commissioners Court approved a bond-refinancing package that will save the county more than $50,000 by the time the bonds are paid out in 2016.

The saving is possible because of the unusually low interest rates now available. Tom Lawrence of Lawrence Financial Consulting LLC contacted the county after discovering the possible savings.  Lawrence is from Dallas, but owns property in Trinidad.

“I do appreciate him finding us,” County Auditor Ann Marie Lee said. “He came to us of his own accord. He’s a taxpayer here in Henderson County.”

When the bonds are paid off in 2016, the payment for the jail will be complete, and Henderson County will have no outstanding debt. The new interest rate is .943 percent, down from 5.95 percent.

“The citizens of Henderson County should be very pleased by the actions taken by the court in the past to position the county with such a low amount of debt in relation to other counties in the state of Texas,” Precinct 4 County Commissioner Ken Geeslin said.

Lawrence said it would normally be of little benefit to refinance a bond package this close to the end of the term, but with the interest rate below one percent, the county still has time for significant savings.  Lawrence said the county won’t see much of the savings this year, because the bond payment is already budgeted, but will reap the benefits in subsequent years.

In other action, Commissioners Court voted to:

• approve the purchase of an iPad for the county judge from the County and District Court Tech Fund;

• approve Precinct 1 to haul sand material to the Mankin Cemetery in Trinidad, and remove clay material in exchange, and;

• authorize payment of bills in the amount of $131,477.21.