Forrest County saves on jail bonds after refinancing

FORREST COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - Forrest County's Chief Financial Officer Penny Steed said the recent bond refinancing on the county jail is "good news all the way around."

"What it amounts to, it's going to be about a 574,000 dollar savings over the life of the bond," explained Steed.

The county borrowed 24 million dollars to build the jail, and even though payments are on the same timetable as originally planned, the interest rate has lowered.

When the county first bought the bonds for the jail, the interest rate was around five percent. After the most recent financing, that rate has lowered to around three percent, according to Steed.

"We've always built upon trying to base our budgets on a good figure of revenue but not budgeting too high and hoping that we're going to come in above those figures, and we've done well on that," said Steed.

Board president David Hogan said this new rating says a lot about the work of the board and county employees, but it also means future projects requiring bonds are promising.

"Our bond rating actually stayed the same; it's an 'Aa3', and we're very proud of that," he explained. "In the future, as opportunities become available to look at other debt services and the possibility of refinancing, we'll do that."

Forrest County expects to pay off the jail by 2029. Steed said future refinancing on the jail bonds could mean another good situation like this one.

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