CHARLESTON - As paying debt off now saves Mississippi County taxpayers interest costs later, Mississippi County commissioners will use money available in the general revenue fund to pay down the principal of the courthouse construction debt, according to county officials.
Commissioners agreed during Thursday's county commission meeting to an extra payment of $200,000 which will reduce the courthouse debt to $173,000 plus interest, according to Junior DeLay, county clerk.
General revenue showed a balance of $861,000 before authorizing the payment. Payments on the courthouse construction debt were set up for annual installments of $110,000 for 12 years, according to DeLay.
DeLay also presented another jail construction bond refinancing update. He explained that under the terms of the bonds, the debt service reserve fund must be liquidated and reinvested if refinanced.
The $345,000 invested at 6 percent interest will be replaced with $283,000 at 4.5 percent.
In other Mississippi County news:
* Riley Fitzgerald of Fitzgerald Marine and Repair requested blacktop repairs on the road leading out to the Mississippi County Port.
"If we repair the port road now, it will stay good," Fitzgerald said. He also said that the area needs mowing as weeds are brushing the sides of vehicles.
"It would make it look better for everyone coming and going," said Fitzgerald, noting there are 100 employees that work there.
Jim Blumenberg, presiding commissioner, said blacktop repairs were already scheduled for next week. "I wasn't aware of the weeds," he said.
Fitzgerald also said a recently-replaced bridge on the port road needs a longer ramp to ease the three-inch offset.
Commissioners agreed it needs a smoother transition and estimated it would take about a four-foot long slope.
* Commissioners amended the contract under which the Susanna Wesley Family Learning Center administers the Welfare to Work program.
The Susanna Wesley Family Learning Center has administered the program for four or five years, according to DeLay. "This extends it another year."
The contract, funded through the Department of Social Services, totals $136,908. The contract period is for July 1, 2001, though May 31, 2002, to align with the state's payment system, DeLay said.
* A preselection process in which applications from prospective administrators are solicited must be completed for the county's rural water district Community Development Block Grant application.
The application for $500,000 will be filed through the county.
* Commissioners briefly reviewed the few remaining projects to complete for this year's road work. "The blacktopping is winding down," said Blumenberg.
Blumenberg reported that earth work to prepare a vacant lot in Charleston for a walking track was completed as promised.