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Putnam Receives Bond Funding For Jail And School Projects

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Putnam Receives Bond Funding For Jail And School Projects

Putnam County has gotten the money from the $98 million bond paying for the jail expansion and new school project.

Mayor Randy Porter said the money will be repaid over 25 years coming out to about $5 million a year.

‘I wanted to get the bond issued as soon as I could, very concerned about the inflation that’s going on in the country and interest rates going up,” Porter said. “So, we were very fortunate. We got our bond for 1.95 percent interest, which is almost just unheard of.”

Porter said the county stands comfortable with the payment schedule with a healthy general fund and high bond rating. Porter said in the past six to seven years, a lot of debt has been paid off or refinanced also allowing the bond to happen.

“With the older bonds we got, most of those will be paid off around 2027,” Porter said. “The way we scheduled this out is that we can pay the bond and still sit very comfortably as far as debt service.”

Porter said construction on the jail addition will start next month. Porter said the school will begin later as the school system continues through the design phase.

“This jail addition can has been kicked down the road for many years, and it’s been needed for a long time, so it’s going to be good to do that,” Porter said. “We don’t want to have to expand the jail, but it is a fact of life that we got to. Then the school and the way the county is growing, we want to make sure we stay ahead of the progress.”

Porter said the county has a Double A2 bond rating. Porter said the high credit distinction is given by a rating agency.

“I feel very good about Putnam County’s finances,” Porter said. “We’re in better shape than maybe we have ever been when it comes to our fund balance and so fourth. I think we are right where we need to be.”

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