County OKs $9M warrant issuance

Published 6:39 pm Monday, September 24, 2012

The signing of the county’s more than $9 million warrant issuance came at just the right time on many fronts, officials said Monday.

The measure allowed the county to reduce its interest rate by more than 1.5 percent on more than $7 million in outstanding debt. It also not only netted the county nearly $450,000 in overall savings, but it generated an additional $2 million.

That money will be used as a grant match for an estimated $10 million in road and bridge projects. The money is available through the Alabama Transportation Rehabilitation and Improvement Program (ATRIP); however, a 20 percent project match is required.

Reid Cavnar of Merchant Capital said the timing for the sale of the warrants was perfect.

“The Covington County name was well-received in the bond market,” he said. “And the county should be proud of its ‘A’ credit rating from Standard & Poors. That means you have a demonstrated ability since the rating is based on the county’s credit itself.”

County administrator Brenda Petty said the funds will be deposited on Thursday – just in time to make the county’s first grant match on Wednesday.

“We’ve got the cash to make the payment, so we’ll just reimburse ourselves,” Petty said.

County engineer Darren Capps said the nearly $200,000 is the match required for the $1 million project to resurface County Road 70 from Mt. Pisgah to Sasser’s Crossroads.

“We’ve also gotten ATRIP funding for two bridges, but we’re not ready to pay for that match yet,” he said.

Capps said project plans for the second phase of funding are due at the first of October, and the third and final phase, in March.

“Then, we wait to see what projects get funding,” he said.