Thursday, January 18, 2018

Unanswered questions about courthouse plan

Editor’s Note: This is taken from an email sent to Commissioner Maureen Davey by Columbus resident Jim Movius. The email was forwarded to the News when Davey did not respond.

Questions occurred after the meeting while studying the handouts:
•If the County has the money to fund Alternate 1, why are the bond amounts shown for Alternate 2 - $15,300,000 and Alternate 4 - $17,500,0000 for the approximately full amounts of the project costs and not about $6,000,000 lower in recognition that the County has, as stated at the meeting, funds to do Alternate 1. without selling bonds?
•The interest rate shown for 20 year bonds is 4.26 percent. What is the basis for this number? Currently 20 year muni yields for “A” rated 20 year bonds are 3.3 to 3.5 percent. Does the County have a bond rating, bond consultant or other way to get an accurate “fix” on the likely interest rate? If the estimate is from the architectural consultant, inquiry regarding their methodology is warranted.
•Muni bond rates are at historic lows as I mentioned at the meeting. If the bond amounts are reduced by $6 million to recognize funds available as stated at the meeting, the financial impacts on property owners are substantially lower than stated on spreadsheets even if the interest rate turns out to be in the estimated 4.26 percent region.
As one who has served on an elected body, I am appreciative of your willingness to serve in local governance.

Jim Movius
Columbus