By Roane County Office of the County Executive
Roane County Executive Ron Woody announced this month that the county saved more than $800,000 by refinancing outstanding debt to lower interest rates.
Woody, his staff, and the Roane County Commission have created and adopted a multi-year debt service budget along with a county capital improvement plan. By having both a debt management plan and a capital plan, the county is able to more efficiently manage the county’s limited resources.
The debt plan and multi-year debt budget further identifies bonds that are eligible for refinancing. The county can then analyze whether refinancing allows for savings. The county identified a Rural School Bond of more than $11 million that had an interest rate of over 4 percent and was eligible for refinancing. The new interest rate is 2.8 percent, which is a savings of $854,600 over the term of the bond, including a savings of $185,735 in interest the first year.
The Rural School Bond was originally issued between 1997 and 2000 prior to the merger with Harriman City Schools. Therefore, Harriman and Oak Ridge citizens do not pay the property tax that supports this bond repayment. In 2004, this bond was refunded for $18,915,000, which was also a consolidation of four loans. In the last 11 years, $7.48 million, or 40 percent of the principal, had been repaid.
Since taking office in August 2010, Woody, his staff, and the County Commission have diligently worked on insuring that Roane County’s financial position is on solid ground by adopting the debt and capital plans.
Woody concluded by saying: “I would like to thank the County Commission and my staff for all their hard work and diligence in assisting in overseeing and managing county government. Everyone’s efforts have continued to make Roane County a better place to work, live, and retire.”