Commissioners approve sale of $4 million in bonds for roads

Published 9:51 am Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The Freeborn County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday approved the sale of more than $4 million in bonds for ditch repairs and potential road projects.

The first set of bonds, for $3.3 million, are general-obligation capital improvement bonds that will fund road projects to be completed in 2014, said Freeborn County Administrator John Kluever.

The board has yet to approve which projects will be bonded for, but some in the running are portions of county roads 1, 76, 71, 101 and 74 and the construction of a storage building near the county highway shop, Kluever said.

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The bonds will be paid back over 10 years at 2.05 percent interest.

The second set, for about $1 million, will refinance the drainage ditch bonds issued in 2006. These bonds will be paid back at 1.29 percent interest over five years and will ultimately save the county about $60,000, Kleuver said.

Chuck Upcraft of The PFM Group said the county received good bids that were consistent with the market for both sets of bonds.

He said there has been a “considerable” move in market rates since earlier this year and interest rates have increased.

Moody’s Investors Service has assigned the county an Aa3 rating, which is the second highest rating the county could receive from that ratings company, Upcraft said. A higher rating is difficult to obtain, and only six or seven other counties in the state have done so.