Refinanced bonds will pay for completion of the Kamas services building | ParkRecord.com

Refinanced bonds will pay for completion of the Kamas services building

Revenue would also cover landfill closure

The new County Services Building in Kamas, which houses the Kamas branch of the Summit County Library and a new South Summit Senior Center, is expected to be complete in the fall. The county is partially funding the $5.9 million project through refinanced bonds.

When the Summit County Council was considering how to pay for construction of a new county services building in the Kamas Valley and expansion of the Three Mile Canyon Landfill, they agreed to refinance some older bonds to partially fund the projects.

"It's a fairly standard procedure to take advantage of lower rates in order to spread out the payments on those two capital projects," said Summit County Manager Tom Fisher. "The council adopted that concept as part of their 2017 budget."

The county plans to refinance the 2009 sales and use tax bonds and take out additional funds against them to cover "a portion of the costs of the construction of a County Services building and capping with backfill and revegetating the existing landfill cell at Three Mile Landfill," according to a county staff report.

The County Council is scheduled to hold a public hearing at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, April 19, at the County Courthouse in Coalville. Closure of the public hearing will begin a 30-day contest period where anyone can contest the legality of issuing the bonds. If fewer than 20 percent of registered voters file a written petition during the 30-day period, the county can issue the bonds.

The 2009 sales and use tax bonds are currently set to expire in December 2023. Matt Leavitt, a finance officer with the county, said while most of the details are still being worked out "we are basically just creating a new 12-year bond."

"It's not going to be an increase in sales tax or any other taxes. It is just taking an existing resource, which is the pledged sales and use taxes that have already been pledged before, and extending the life of them so we can get a lower rate and we can take out these additional funds."

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The county currently has $6.98 million in outstanding bonds to be refinanced under the proposal, along with an estimated $4 million for completion of the services building and expansion of the landfill, according to a county staff report.

In September, the County Council approved a $5.9 million budget for construction of the new 18,000-square-foot Summit County Services Building, which houses the Kamas branch of the Summit County Library, DMV and county medical services, such as Valley Behavioral Health. The project is expected to be complete in the fall.

Leavitt said while the county had other options to secure funding for the projects "this was the best option." He added, "We are taking a source that has already been committed and just continuing to commit it."

"The other option would have put a lot of stress on the general fund, which is already stretched about as far as it can go," Leavitt said. "By refinancing these bonds, it won't impact people directly."

Leavitt has urged the County Council to consider raising the current property tax rates to increase revenues.

"If we would have chosen to pay for it more out of the general fund we would have had to look at some other sources," Leavitt said. "Most of it has been budgeted on a pay-as-you-go type basis.

"Going back into that property tax discussion without a lot of new growth and sales tax revenue you can't pay for it like that because otherwise it would drag out another seven to 10 years."

More information about the county's outstanding bonds can be found in the county's financial report at: http://secure.utah.gov/auditorsearch/.