County approves $5.105 million bond sale, levy

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Sussner $3.573 million bid accepted for courthouse work


On a 4-1 vote, Swift County’s Board of Commissioners approved a $5.105 million general obligation capital improvement plan bond sale to pay for renovations to the courthouse and the Countryside Public Health building last Tuesday.

It also approved the $3.573 million bid of Sussner Construction of Marshall for the courthouse renovations. That bid includes $24,000 for removing the awnings over courthouse windows and replacing them with shades in the windows to restore the original, historic look of the building.

In the motion, commissioners approved levying a tax on Swift County property to pay for the bond issue over the next 20 years.

The bond sale is $145,000 less than projected due to aggressive bidding and the low interest rate the county will be paying on the bonds, George Eilertson, senior vice president public finance for Northland Securities told commissioners. Northland is the county’s municipal bond sale adviser.

Swift County received three bids on the bond sale with Piper Jaffray of Minneapolis coming in with the low bid at 2.84 percent. The other two firms bidding were R.W. Baird, and J.B. Hilliard.

That low interest rate was based on strong county financial management, strong reserves and relatively low debt giving it budget flexibility, and its very good AA minus bond rating.

This past June the county board approved Sussner’s low bid of $346,630 for the Countryside work bringing the total cost between the courthouse and Countryside work to $3,919,630.

Commissioners were also considering improvements to 6W Community Corrections’ office space in the basement of the Law Enforcement Center (LEC), however, they agreed not to proceed with the work at this time. Sussner’s bid for the LEC work was $96,000.

Swift County is paying between $132,952 for asbestos removal in the courthouse before renovation work begins.

The courthouse is currently shutdown as the renovation work started with asbestos removal. Most county offices are now in the former Lewis Drug building on Atlantic Avenue downtown Benson. The court operations have moved into the basement of the LEC and 6W Community Corrections has temporarily moved into the south side of the Benson Family Eye clinic offices....

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