County decides against paying off jail bond early

CHENANGO COUNTY – After weighing several unknown factors that could strain the county’s budget in the near future, members of the Chenango County Finance Committee decided early this month not to pay off a short-term bond for the Public Safety Facility ahead of schedule.

Treasurer William E. Evans said a positive cash flow from the 1 percent dedicated sales tax - at about $3.6 to $4 million a year - and his calculation of investment rates would make it possible to pay the note off early. “I’ve cash flowed it out and we could go either way,” he said.

This year’s interest of $105,546 on the $1.2 bond has been budgeted and is due in August. If county leaders elected to pay the remaining principal of $2.4 million, there would be $1 to $1.1 million left in the county’s set-aside account for debt service.

Committee Chairman Lawrence Wilcox, R-Oxford, said he thought there were “too many variables” to pay ahead of schedule. “If you look at the last 10 days’ situation, I have an idea there’s going to be a need,” he said, referring to the flood devastation throughout the county in late June. The Emergency Management Office has reported a preliminary estimate of $7 million in flood-related damages.

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