County considers refinance of safety center

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The Moffat County commissioners are considering refinancing the certificates used to pay for the Public Safety Center.

If commissioners go with the refinancing option they discussed at last week's commissioners meeting, they could save about $334,000, said Moffat County budget analyst Tinneal Gerber.

The safety center houses the Moffat County Sheriff's Office, Moffat County Jail, Colorado State Patrol and the Craig Police Department. The facility at 800 W. First St. opened in 2001.

The facility will cost the county about $20 million, including interest and telecommunications costs, when it is paid off in 2023.

Commissioners discussed the refinance at last week's meeting with Gerber, local business leaders who serve on the county's finance corporation and Alan Matlosz, the senior vice president of George K. Baum and Company, of Denver. Matlosz arranged the original financing for the Public Safety Center.

Commissioners will discuss refinancing the safety center at a workshop today with Gerber, Matlosz and the finance corporation, and they could vote on the issue at Tuesday's regular meeting. Tuesday's meeting is in the Moffat County commissioners chambers at the county courthouse, 221 W. Victory Way.

Matlosz said refinancing the Public Safety Center is similar to a private citizen refinancing a mortgage but slightly more complex.

Refinancing would allow the county to take advantage of lower interest rates and save the county money, he said.

"It is similar to refinancing a mortgage, but the paperwork is 4-inches thick," Matlosz said.

The county paid for the safety center using certificates of participation, one issued in 1998 and one in 2001. The certificates are similar to bonds.

The refinancing the commissioners are considering would only affect the 1998 certificate, Gerber said. The county can consider refinancing the 2001 certificate in a few years to save additional money, she said.

Brandon Johansson can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 213, or bjohansson@craigdailypress.com.

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