Pile Of Cash

The Franklin County Commission this week voted to once again solicit banks to hold the county’s money after the first attempt was unsuccessful.

A bank is needed to act as the county’s depository to hold millions of dollars in public money.

This month the county opened letters from banks and found that none of them had expressed interest in being the county’s depository.

Presiding County Commissioner John Griesheimer said he is confident that the process will be successful this time.

“We’ll have a depository,” Griesheimer said.

The Bank of Washington, which has served as the county’s depository for decades, said this month it could no longer provide the service.

Another bank responded that it was not in the market for large accounts.

Citing the low interest rates, the Bank of Washington said it was no longer economically feasible to be the county’s depository.

Griesheimer said he thinks some banks may not have bid last time because they thought the Bank of Washington had already solidified the deal.

The county commission has made some changes to the bid requirements to make it more appealing for the banks to serve as depository.

A big difference in the new bid process is the amount of securities that the banks have to provide up front. Previously, it was $400,000, but now it is only $30,000.

Banks may be more inclined to bid if it means they won’t have to tie up so much money in securities, First District County Commissioner Tim Brinker has said.

As part of their bids, the banks must provide certified checks to cover the securities, but those checks are returned to the banks at the completion of the bid process.

County Counselor Mark Vincent said the new call for bids is still in the “spirit and letter of Missouri law.”

The new bids will be opened at the June 18 County Commission meeting.

The county’s current agreement with the Bank of Washington expires in about a week. But the bank of Washington has agreed to work with the county while a new arrangement is being worked out, officials say.