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County works to save money

The Pike County Commission took a step Monday to save the county nearly half a million dollars.

It’s no secret the commission has been working to pay off what was once around a $10 million debt, but its move Monday will refinance a large part of that debt at a lower interest rate.

“It’s the same debt, with the same period of time, with a lower interest rate,” said County Administrator Harry Sanders. “We’re not increasing the terms and not increasing the amount of money.”

The commission has been working on a 10-year plan to eliminate this debt, and Sanders said this is the third year of that effort.

He said he isn’t sure how much is remaining in debt in total. The amount to be refinanced is around $4.58 million. This amount includes a loan at Troy Bank & Trust and another bond at an investment bank.

The reinvestment will put both of these with investment company Morgan Keenan at an interest rate between 2 and 4 percent.

The current bank loan is at 7.5 percent.

“That’s not a bad rate. It was good for what we needed at that time,” Sanders said. “Troy Bank & Trust has been our partner through this.”

With the new rates, the commission’s slated to save around $542,000 over the course of the term.

Sanders and County Attorney Allen Jones had no more information on the liabilities of using county jail inmates to do road labor, as was discussed in its prior meeting.

The discussion will be carried forward.

In the meeting commissioners also heard from a resident concerned about the condition of Tennille Road, also call County Road 4443.

Claude McQueen came before the commission for a second time to request the road department put gravel on the road.

“Anytime it rains water floods the cemetery down there,” McQueen told the commission.

But, Assistant County Engineer Cornelia Sanders said the road is actually in better shape than many of the local roads.

“I don’t see a need to put rock on it. Compared to the rest of the roads in the county, it’s in good shape,” Sanders said.

Commissioners sided with the road department workers.

“If our engineer says we don’t need it, we don’t need it,” said District 5 Commissioner Charlie Harris.