Fiscal director suggests holding off on county debt

Warren County is likely to wait a few months before essentially being debt free for the first time in many years.

Because the savings of clearing the debt now isn’t worth the risk.

Fiscal Director Eric Hern made his recommendation to the Commissioners during Monday’s work session.

The county could save approximately $14,000 in interest over the next year by making the final payoff early.

The principal amount on the bond sits at approximately $675,000. Of which $250,000 has been set aside for making remaining payments.

The bond issue was used to fund the expansion to the courthouse that included the Jackson Courtroom. But there was disagreement at a work session last month between using that cash, a portion of the Tax Anticipation Note and money remaining from the North Warren land deal to pay the bond off now versus waiting until the fall when tax revenue is received and making the payment then. Hern said on Monday that he has since looked at different options and recommended waiting until the fall.

“The difference in interest is a few hundred dollars,” Hern said.

He also said he isn’t sure what surprises the remainder of the fiscal year may hold and said he would not want to take funds from the county reserves at this time.

“The opportunity cost, cash management cost is not worth the risk,” Hern said.

Commissioners Jeff Eggleston and Ben Kafferlin agreed with Hern’s analysis. Commissioner Cindy Morrison was not at Monday’s work session.

“I’m looking forward to having it done,” Eggleston said.