WALKER -- Cass County Administrator Robert Yochum suggested to the county board Tuesday estimated costs and possible ways the county could pay for capital improvements.
Minnesota allows counties to bond (borrow funds) up to 2 percent of the county's market value. Based on Cass' current market value, the county could borrow up to $63,968,844.
By statute, also based on market value, Minnesota would allow Cass to bond without a referendum, so long as annual interest and principal payments did not exceed $1,716,604.
As of Dec. 31, the county will have no bonded indebtedness.
Other revenue sources being considered besides bonds to pay for possible capital improvements include existing county fund balances and future annual county budgets.
Possible projects proposed for 2004 to 2009 include consolidating highway garages, $2 million; county road paving, $3.750 million; and a regional jail, $12 million.
After 2009 could be two-floor court expansion above the existing jail, $6 million; three-floor general government expansion into south parking lot, $8 million; and tunnel between courthouse and health, human and veterans services building, $300,000.
Other estimated revenue needed to execute the capital improvement plan: buying Ah-Gwah-Ching property from state, $1; minor courthouse remodeling, $4,000; ESD disposal tip fee, $600,000; solid waste assessment, $1.6 million; transfer station equipment, $750,000; voting equipment, $300,000; telephone system, $50,000; replace land department facilities, $850,000; sheriff's dispatch console, $130,000; 911 signs, $10,000; desktop computers, $165,000; parcel mapping, $30,000; Web site improvements, variable; digital inventory, $5,000.
Annual revenue needed for gravel road program, $80,000; calcium chloride road program, $80,000; blacktopping road program, $3.57 million; public land survey, $25,000; highway equipment, $250,000; road safety improvements, $125,000; contracting jail beds, $200,000; sheriff's vehicles, $150,000; deputy handguns, $30,000; minor sheriff's department remodeling, $20,000.
Yochum suggested, if adopted in its entirety, $3.375 million would come annually from the county budget, $2.16 million from fund balances and $31.87 million from new bonding.
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