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STATEMENT ON COUNTY DEBT

4/22/2016

HEISKELL RELEASES  A STATEMENT ON COUNTY DEBT THIS WEEK "TO EASE THE MINDS OF CITIZENS.”

 

 

COUNTY COMMISSIONER BEBE HEISKELL RELEASED A STATEMENT ON COUNTY DEBT THIS WEEK… AS SHE PUT IT:  “TO STOP SOME RUMORS AND EASE THE MINDS OF CITIZENS” IN WALKER COUNTY.

 

SHE GAVE FIGURES FROM THE COUNTY’S AUDITED FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF SEPTEMBER, 2015.

TOTAL COUNTY DEBT AT THAT POINT IN TIME, WAS 49-MILLION DOLLARS.

SINCE THEN, A 10-MILLION DOLLAR TAX ANTICIPATION NOTE AND 4.3-MILLION IN SPLOST DEBT HAVE BEEN PAID…

LEAVING THE CURRENT DEBT AT 34.7-MILLION.

OF THAT AMOUNT, 22.1-MILLION IS REMAINING SPLOST DEBT, WHICH WILL BE PAID BACK OVER FIVE YEARS AS THE SALES TAX IS COLLECTED.
 

THAT LEAVES REMAINING, TOTAL COUNTY DEBT OF 12.6-MILLION DOLLARS.

 

HEISKELL IS NOT COUNTING A POTENTIAL DEBT FROM THE HUTCHESON MEDICAL CENTER BANKRUPTCY… AS THAT 8.5 MILLION IS STILL SUBJECT TO A DECISION IN FEDERAL COURT.  THE ORIGINAL 10-MILLION DOLLAR COUNTY GUARANTEED AMOUNT HAS NOW BEEN REDUCED THROUGH PROCEEDS FROM THE SALE OF THE HOSPITAL’S NURSING HOME.   

 

THE COUNTY’S AUDITOR ALSO COMPARED DEBT FROM THE PREVIOUS ADMINISTRATION… THAT OF BUDDY CHAPMAN… TO THE PRESENT-DAY DEBT:

“IF YOU EXCLUDE SPLOST DEBT WHICH IS COVERED BY FUTURE SALES TAX… THE DEBT THAT CAN BE COMPARED IS CURRENTLY 8.4-MILLION… COMPARED TO 7.4-MILLION AT THE END OF THE CHAPMAN ADMINISTRATION”.  

 

HEISKELL CONCLUDED:  “OUR AUDITOR REPORTS THAT WE ARE IN COMPLIANCE… ALL REMAINING DEBT IS SECURED AND WILL BE COVERED.   WE’RE DOING OK... WE GOING TO CONTINUE PROVIDING SERVICES AND TAKING CARE OF OUR CITIZENS”.

 

AND TO LAY ANOTHER RECENT CONCERN TO REST… HEISKELL SAID THE COUNTY HAS ALWAYS FUNDED IT’S EMPLOYEE PENSION PLAN AT OR ABOVE THE REQUIRED MINIMUM AMOUNT… “NO ONE IS IN DANGER OF LOSING THEIR PENSION”, SHE SAID.
 

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