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Refinancing plan will save money

GATESVILLE – A plan to save Gates County a significant amount of money three years from now has taken its first step.

As part of their recent meeting, the Gates County Board of Commissioners approved a resolution that calls for the refinancing of two existing loans: one for the new gym at Gates County High School and the other for the county’s Department of Social Services building.

The refinancing plan now waits the approval of the Local Government Commission.

Refinancing the loan for the gym lowers the interest rate from 2.91% to 2.05% and leaves the maturity date of the loan in FY 2022.

For the DSS building loan, that lowers the interest rate from 2.89% to 2.46% for eight years (FY 2028, which was the loan’s original maturity date).

Refinancing the DSS building loan will save the county $42,665 in the new FY 2020-21 budget.

The resolution also introduced a plan that calls for the county to “intend to make a balloon payment in the amount of approximately $566,292.66 in FY 2023 to pay off the DSS building debt unless unforeseen issues or economic events occur that negatively affects the county budget.”

“Kim (Outland, the county’s Financial Services Director) worked hard behind the scenes to make this happen,” said Commission Chairman Ray Freeman after reading the resolution.

Commissioner Jonathan Jones said the money saved in the refinancing the remaining debt on the new gym at the high school, which will be paid off in 2022, will be used to pay off the DSS building debt in full by 2023.

“That will free up a significant amount of money for the county [after 2023],” Jones noted.

“This is a good strategic plan,” stressed Commission Vice Chair Jack Owens.

“This is what happens when you closely study other available options on our budget and not just by raising taxes,” Freeman remarked.

Jones made the motion to approve the resolution. Owens offered a second and the motion was approved without objection.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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