Washington Evening Journal
111 North Marion Avenue
Washington, IA 52353
The Washington County Board of Supervisors finalized a move Tuesday that will save county taxpayers $675,000 in interest.
The board finalized the refinancing of approximately $11 million in general obligation bonds for the Washington County Hospital and Clinics.
“We are refunding the existing bonds and issuing new bonds,” county Auditor Dan Widmer said. “This is pretty much the final step of the process.
“It’s a win-win for everyone involved, especially for the taxpayers of Washington County.”
Widmer said that they were able to lock in “an incredibly low interest rate” of 0.991 percent on the new bonds.
“In all my years, I’ve never seen an interest rate that low,” Supervisor Bob Yoder said.
Widmer said the move will reduce the hospital’s annual debt service by approximately $80,000.
The county is refinancing bonds that were issued in December 2015 and January 2016. At that time, the county refinanced nearly $15 million in revenue bonds for the hospital.
In 2005, WCHC issued revenue bonds to pay for the construction of the new hospital at an interest rate of 5.5 percent.
Ten years later, WCHC approached the county to seek assistance in refinancing the revenue bonds to lower interest general obligation bonds, a move saved the hospital more than $6 million in interest. Those general obligation bonds were issued at 2.48 percent.
“We thought back then that it was a good deal to get that interest rate,” Widmer said.
There are nine years remaining on the term of the 2015 and 2016 bonds, and there will be no change to the structure or term of the new bonds.