jail

With a funding stream secured by voters, Franklin County leaders are preparing to issue the first of two certificates of participation or construction bonds to fund the $30 million jail/911 renovations.

On Tuesday, the county took one of the final steps by requesting a credit rating, which will determine how the bonds will be financed.

The lengthy process has been ongoing since Proposition P passed in April and Presiding Commissioner Tim Brinker says the first bond will be for $10 million.

“We are hoping for the first week in November,” he said. “It will be a 20 year note.”

Brinker added the next bond will be issued about the middle of next year and will be for $15 million.

“We have to wait and see how the bids on construction come in,” he said. “There will be an additional $5 million in soft costs.”

Brinker added the county is working with St. Louis based WM Financial Services on preparing the bond issuance to assure the best rates are secured.

“We want to stay under 4 percent,” he said. “We know the feds are talking about increasing the interest rates, so we want to move before they do that.”

He added once the credit rating is obtained, WM Financial will shop the bonds to several different banks to get the best rates.

“We hope to get offers from at least 10 institutions,” Brinker said. “It will most likely be a New York bank, that will be selected.”

The commission order Monday hired S & P Global in New York to analyze the county’s current financial status to determine a credit rating. There will be a fee for this work, but it is not specified in the paperwork.

Payments

The bond issuance is coming at a time when the jail project costs are expected to increase rapidly.

Between August 2017 and August 2018, the county has paid consulting firm Navigate Building Solutions $79,943.

From July to December 2018, the county will pay Navigate $60,906 per month totaling $395,885.

The architectural firm will make about $2.1 million for its services to the end of the project in 2020.

According to county documents, FGM will be paid $218,612 per month from July to December 2018.