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Jail Renovation Bank Financing Approved

Bank financing to complete a $5 million renovation project in the kitchen and laundry facilities at the Fremont County Jail is now in place.    The Fremont County Board of Commissioners approved a resolution at a special meeting on June 1st arranging for bank financing of the project through Branch Banking and Trust Company which has agreed to purchase the certificates.

Renovation of the jail’s kitchen and laundry areas were listed as some of the key capital improvements needed when Fremont County voters approved a one cent sales tax increase two years ago for the Sheriff’s Department.   Although Sheriff Jim Beicker has worked to accumulate cash reserves in his budget to pay for part of the project, the Board of Commissioners and the Sheriff agreed that some short term financing would be necessary to complete the renovation.   The Sheriff is also using a portion of the capital reserves from the sales tax to replace his aging fleet of patrol vehicles.

The resolution approved by the Board of Commissioners calls for the project to be paid off over a seven year period by 2023.   The payments will not exceed $800,000 a year from the Sheriff’s budget with an interest rate not to exceed three percent.    Fremont County Manager Sunny Bryant said it was important that the renovation project be paid off prior to the ten year sunset of the sales tax.

With financing now in place work can proceed to prepare documents to seek public bids later this summer  to get the project underway.   Bryant said the lease-purchase bank financing means there will be no general obligation debt incurred by the county.