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Wilson County News January 16, 2013 | 1,706 views | 2 comments
Wilson County Judge Marvin Quinney estimates that it could cost the county approximately $6.6 million to complete three proposed building projects. But because of an increasing tax base and low interest rates, the county’s financial advisor -- Bob Henderson of RBC Capital Markets -- said during the Jan. 14 meeting of the Wilson County Commissioners Court that the county could borrow these funds without having to increase the property-tax rate.
Henderson said that Wilson County’s property-tax rate of 45.33 cents per $100 of assessed value includes just 1.82 cents for debt service, which is collected to repay bonds issued in 1994 for equipment purchases and for construction of the Wilson County Criminal Justice Center on 10th Street (U.S. 181) in Floresville. During the meeting, the commissioners voted unanimously to repay the remainder of the bond on the justice center -- a total of $601,730, according to interim County Auditor Verna Gorzell -- which will save the county $5,500 in interest while resolving this debt.
Included in the proposal are repairs to the Wilson County Courthouse and remodeling portions of the Wilson County Courthouse Annex III to accommodate the relocation of the Sam Fore Jr. Wilson County Public Library and the creation of a criminal justice complex. Two wings of the annex, which formerly housed the Floresville Primary Campus, will be left for future expansion. Resident Ralph Gerhardt is pleased about the prospect of accomplishing these goals without placing an added burden on taxpayers.
“It doesn’t get any better than that,” he said.
Quinney said current estimates are that it will cost $2.9 million to create the justice complex, $1.5 million to stabilize the courthouse, $500,000 for interior remodeling of the courthouse, and $1.6 million to create the new library. (See “Wilson County to redesign annex,” Dec. 12.)
Henderson believes the county, which is a tax-exempt entity, could finance this new debt at an interest rate of less than 2-1/2 percent.
But before the county sells bonds, Henderson said the law requires that the fiscal year 2012 financial audit be complete. He also said he would be working with county officials to conduct long-term planning workshops, to which the public would be invited.
Also during the meeting, the commissioners:
•Voted to renew a contract with RBC Capital Markets, which would charge the county only in the event that it borrows money.
•Approved the purchase of a motor grader by Pct. 2 Commissioner Paul Pfeil, which will be funded by $130,769, plus the trade of existing equipment.
•Met in closed session to discuss a successor for Personnel Director Alane Tackitt, who will resign later this month after being employed with the county for 20 years. When they reconvened, they voted that County Treasurer Jan Hartl would conduct the screening process and report back to the commissioners for final approval.
In attendance: Wilson County Judge Marvin Quinney and commissioners Albert Gamez Jr., Paul Pfeil, and Larry Wiley; Wilson County Sheriff Joe D. Tackitt Jr., County Clerk Eva Martinez, interim County Auditor Verna Gorzell, coordinator Edwin Baker of the Wilson County Health and Public Safety Office, Emergency Management Coordinator LeAnn Hosek, Library Director Nicki Stohr of the Sam Fore Jr. Wilson County Public Library, and County Treasurer Jan Hartl.