Safety center refinancing approved

Moffat County commissioners said Tuesday they hope to save as much as $700,000 by refinancing the Public Safety Center.

At Tuesday's regular meeting, commissioners voted to move forward with refinancing the facility, 800 W. First St.

Refinancing won't change the term of the loan or the monthly payments, commissioners said.

Refinancing will allow the county to lock in a lower interest rate and save money throughout the life of the payments, they said.

"This isn't anything other than just good business," Com-missioner Tom Gray said.

It probably will take George K. Baum and Company of Denver, the financial company hired to administer the refinancing, 30 to 45 days to finalize all the paperwork, Moffat County budget analyst Tinneal Gerber said.

Baum and Co. will charge the county as much as $50,000 for administering the refinancing, Gerber said.

If interest rates go up before the refinancing is final, the county doesn't have to go through with the refinancing.

"We can back off any time we want to," Commissioner Saed Tayyara 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 interest rate on the 1998 certificate fluctuates between 4.2 percent and 5.125 percent, Gerber said.

The county hopes to lock in a new interest rate that will fluctuate between 4 percent and 4.125 percent, Gerber said.

But the exact interest rate won't be known until Baum and Co. finishes the refinance.

"It's kind of like refinancing a house," Gray said. "You don't know exactly what the interest rate is going to be until you lock it in."

The safety center houses the Moffat County Sheriff's Office, Moffat County Jail, Colorado State Patrol and the Craig Police Department. The facility 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 refinancing at last week's meeting and at a workshop with the Moffat County financial corporation Monday.

The financial corporation, which is made of local business leaders, unanimously recommended the county refinance the Public Safety Center.

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

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