Knox commissioners review 301 Park St. progress, bond bid ratings
Rockland — Knox County Administrator Andrew Hart told county commissioners Oct. 9 construction on the county's new public safety office at 301 Park St. is still set for completion in January.
"There really haven’t been any glitches, per se," Hart said.
The commissioners also entertained a presentation from Joseph Cuetara, senior vice president at Moors & Cabot Investments, regarding the county’s recent bond bid and bond ratings.
According to Cuetara, the $2.5 million in bonds were immediately purchased Sept. 12 by Roosevelt & Cross Inc., a municipal broker-dealer based in New York City, and subsequently resold to individual investors. The money provides long-term financing for the 301 Park St. initiative.
The county’s debt will be repaid over a term of 15 years, and will accrue $446,615 in interest.
Cuetara said that the 1.86 percent interest rate secured by Moors & Cabot is significantly lower than what the county would have paid by using a commercial bank or a bond bank, and will lead to roughly $269,000 in savings.
Moors & Cabot solicited credit ratings from two different agencies in order to strengthen the county’s fiscal appeal. Moody’s Investors Service ranked Knox County as AA3, or high credit-quality investment, and Standard & Poor’s gave a slightly higher rating of AA. Cuetara described these assessments as “damn close to triple-A.”
Cuetara said that even if the county’s credit rating alters during the bond’s term, the repayment schedule will not be affected, regardless of whether the change is positive or negative.
Repayment has been slated to begin in 2013, and will not affect the 2012 budget.
In other business:
The commissioners reviewed the amended job evaluation and salary administration policy, which dictates the pay grades and timing of step increases for Knox County's per diem employees. The act, which will provide increased compensation for correctional facility workers, was approved 2-0.
Voting for it were Commissioners Carol Maines and Roger Moody. Richard Parent was absent.
Sheriff Donna Dennison reported the county’s polygraph machine is being utilized as part of the hiring process for Lincoln County, and that in her opinion the equipment is “a good thing to have.”
The commission also considered the results from the snow plowing bid process for the courthouse, jail, and public safety building, and awarded Farley & Son Landscaping a three-year, $41,302 contract.
Courier Publications reporter Bane Okholm can be reached at 594-4401 ext. or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.