Early payoff may help the county save some money
BENTON -- Will making the last payment on the Scott County Jail save the county any money?
Commissioner Dennis Ziegenhorn suggested an early payoff on the jail is something worth looking into during the regular County Commission meeting Tuesday as officials continued their work on the county's annual operating budget.
The county owes one last payment of about $700,000 plus $499,500 in escrow which is due upon retiring the jail construction debt, according to county officials.
Ziegenhorn said it may be that the county would end up paying less interest by paying the debt off early. Interest paid on the jail construction debt in 2007 totaled $46,762.50.
"Would it be beneficial to pay it off now instead of at the end of the year?" Ziegenhorn said. "If there's $30,000 worth of savings, I think we need to do it now."
"We have to make that payment sooner or later," said Ron McCormick, commissioner.
Reducing the general revenue's fund balance would have one drawback, Ziegenhorn noted: the county wouldn't have as much money available in the event of an emergency. "But if it would save $20,000 in interest, wouldn't it be a good thing?" he asked.
Presiding Commissioner Jamie Burger said it is worth looking into but noted if there are savings on interest paid on the debt, those savings will be offset some by the interest the county earns by having the money in its account.
Ziegenhorn said every bit helps with the budget as tight as it is. "I'm just trying to find money," he said.
In other business Tuesday:
* Officials from the University of Missouri Extension Service in Scott County presented their annual report and a budget request of $37,440.
"It's been that way for the last three years at least," Burger said.
McCormick said he is impressed with how the extension office manages to keep adding services while not increasing their budget.
* Scott County Clerk Rita Milam will be at the county's satellite location, 514 S. Main in Sikeston, from 4-5 p.m. today to register voters for the presidential preference primary election Feb. 5.
"Today is the last day to register for the presidential primary," Milam said.
Also, Assessor Teresa Houchin is going to begin collecting county assessment lists at the satellite office.
* A $10,000 recycling grant through the Bootheel Solid Waste Commission may help the county shred and dispose of old 911 records at the old E-911 center in Morley, according to commissioners.