Municipal bonds save ratepayers $1 million more than estimated

By: Nick Mordowanec | C&G Newspapers | Published February 14, 2020

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MACOMB COUNTY — The Macomb County Public Works Office recently saved Macomb County sewer service ratepayers about $4.6 million — or about $1 million more than initially estimated — after refinancing municipal bonds.

A county press release stated that the Public Works Office executed two bond refinances: a 2011 issue for upgrades to the Clintondale Pump Station that served 11 communities in the Macomb Interceptor Drainage District; and a 2006 issue for the North Gratiot Interceptor that served New Haven and Lenox Township.

“There’s nothing better than finding a little unexpected change in your blue jeans,” Public Works Commissioner Candice Miller said in a press release. “Of course, $4.6 million is more than a little change.”

The refinancing saves approximately $4.22 million in interest payments for residents in the MIDD, which includes Chesterfield, Clinton, Harrison, Lenox, Macomb, Shelby and Washington townships, and the cities of Fraser, New Haven, Sterling Heights and Utica.

The North Gratiot refinancing saved another $392,000 for residents in Lenox Township and New Haven.

Savings will be used to finance future maintenance work on various systems, the office stated, as well as to avoid future repair costs and “hold the line” against potential rate increases in the future.

In November 2019, Public Works Office refinanced two bonds — the Lake St. Clair Clean Water Initiative and Oakland-Macomb Interceptor Drain — saving over $800,000. The Lake St. Clair bonds saved St. Clair Shores, Roseville and Eastpointe $483,000. The OMID bonds saved $325,000 for 11 MIDD and 12 Oakland County communities.

Since Miller took office in 2017, she and her office have saved Macomb County residents over $12.1 million by refinancing six bonds. The office also applied for and was approved for State Revolving Fund financing for future improvements, locked in at a 2% interest rate for future capital improvements.

“We continue to methodically review every bond, every contract, every construction project to look not only for ways to save money, but to bring added value to our residents,” Miller said.

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