County’s credit rating is good, supes set to sell bonds

~by Janice Harbaugh for GreeneCountyNewsOnline

The Greene County board of supervisors heard reports on its credit rating and then approved a resolution to sell bonds at an interest cost of 2.012 percent.

Reports were heard from Heidi Kuhl, Northland Securities, and Nathan Summers, D.A. Davidson, at the board’s regular meeting Nov 4 concerning the next steps in funding the career academy and other urban renewal projects.

Kuhl said Standard and Poor Global had rated the county as AA-. The best rating would be AAA, followed by AA+ and then AA-. Credit rating determines interest rate on bonds sold for the funding of projects.

The high credit score was due, in part, “to good debt management,” said Kuhl. “This is a fantastic rating for a county your size,” she said.

Summers, representing D.A. Davidson company, one of the county’s consultants in the funding process, recommended the bonds be awarded to Northland Securities with an interest cost of 2.012 percent, based on the AA- credit rating of Greene County.

The board then unanimously approved a resolution “directing the acceptance of a proposal to purchase $4,755,000 general obligation urban renewal capital loan notes, series 2019A and approving the form and authorizing execution of a note purchasing agreement.” This is the proposal that had been submitted by Northland Securities.

Northland will now attempt to sell the bonds to interested banks. In anticipation of being approved as the purchaser, Northland had put out preliminary feelers to local banks. No local banks responded, said Kuhl. The bonds will now be offered to banks in Iowa and the Midwest.

Greene County, however, will receive money for the bonds directly from Northland Securities within a matter of weeks. Documents and agreements concerning this are available in the auditor’s office.

In other business, the board unanimously approved a resolution “approving a photograph for permanent display in the courthouse in honor of the veterans of Greene County and soliciting additional photographs for temporary display.”

The permanent photograph will be of Floyd Brown, World War I veteran from Greene County, who died from artillery fire hours before the armistice in France, Nov. 11, 1919.
The board directed the director and commissioners of the office of veterans affairs for Greene County to obtain other photographs of deceased Greene County veterans for temporary display in the courthouse. The board’s intent is for photographs to be displayed one at a time for a length of time to be determined by the commissioners.

By soliciting and displaying these photographs, the board’s intended message is “to convey gratitude, respect, and esteem for our nation’s veterans to all who enter the Greene County courthouse.”

The board also expressed appreciation to Al Jensen who is retiring after 38 years of service to the county, first in the auditor’s office from 1981 to 1999, and then the engineer’s office from 1999 until present.

“We appreciate all your years of service,” said supervisor Dawn Rudolph. Engineer Wade Weiss added, “Al went above and beyond normal job description.”

Elderbridge representative Sandy Jackson presented an annual report and requested funding of $7,511 for FY21. Elderbridge’s goal is to “continue to serve more and more elderly through outreach activities.” The board did not act on the request.
Jackson said, “We want to keep people in their own homes as long as possible.”

Elderbridge provides nutrition, personal care, and homemaker services. The CHORE program provides lawn raking and snow removal for elderly residents of the county.

Supervisor Pete Bardole reported on new Christmas lighting. There will be a demonstration next week from a company that hopes to be chosen by the board to provide the new lighting.

Chuck Wenthold, environmental and zoning coordinator, reported the DNR knows “what, but not where” concerning the fish kill in Hardin Creek in August.

Wenthold also alerted the board to an upcoming zoning request by Terry Ross, 516 320th, Scranton, to meet DOT requirements to sell cars on his property.

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