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County works to save costs on debt

The Pike County Commission finalized the refinancing of a large chunk of its debt Wednesday, saving nearly a half-million dollars in the process.

The commission approved a resolution to enter the county into a new bond issue that will consolidate some of the county’s debt at a lower interest rate.

Two 10-year loans from Troy Bank & Trust were paid off as part of the resolution, allowing the county to cut interest rates from as high as 7.5 percent down to as low as 2 percent.

“This is a day we’ve been looking forward to for a while, and I’m happy to say we’re right on target with where we want to be regarding our debt,” said County Administrator Harry Sanders. “I’m just pleased to be bringing this to a close. Troy Bank & Trust was an excellent partner through all this, and they helped us tremendously.”

Investment company Morgan Keegan partnered with the county to accomplish the consolidation, and Sanders said Morgan Keegan helped to make the process simpler.

The exact amount of savings is calculated to be $476,993.43, and Sanders said the county will be using the money saved to fight the debt.

“We have made a commitment that instead of increasing spending, we’re going to reduce our debt with that money,” Sanders said.

The closing for the procedure will be June 10, after which point the Commission will seek new ways to cut its debt.

“We’re just trying to get to a point where Pike County doesn’t have any debt,” Sanders said. The Pike County Commission will next meet June 14.