Officials look for savings by refinancing

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 30, 2003

NATCHEZ &045; With this year’s low interest rates, more and more cities and counties across Mississippi are looking to refinance &045; and Natchez and Adams County have been no exception.

In March, city aldermen voted to sell bonds to refinance $2.185 million in debt still left from 1993, when the city last refinanced of $3.83 million of street improvement bonds.

That will save taxpayers $145,000 over the next seven years, according to financial analyst Demery Grubbs.

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Then in June, county supervisors followed suit, restructuring three long-term debts: $3.9 million for the juvenile detention center, $3 million for the port and $600,000 for other public facilities.

Yet, despite the jargon and the mounds of figures and paperwork involved, the concept of refinancing is fairly simple.

Public officials close to this year’s refinancings compare it to a individual who, to save money, consolidates his debts &045; student loans, credit card bills &045; into one lower-interest payment.

&uot;We’d be crazy not to,&uot; said County Administrator Charlie Brown.

Marty Wiseman, director of John C. Stennis Institute of Government at Mississippi State University, said refinancing has become commonplace for cities and counties.

&uot;And it’s usually a sign of good management that they (public officials) are watching interest rates and refinancing when they get the chance,&uot; Wiseman said. &uot;That’s saving taxpayers money.&uot;