County Commissioners Court Announces Successful Sale of Remaining 2008 Road Bonds
Hays County Courthouse, San Marcos, TX – The Hays County Commissioners Court learned this week that once again investors have been eager to purchase Hays County bonds. Earlier this summer, the Court authorized its bond advisor, Dan Wegmiller of Specialized Public Finance, Inc., to sell the remaining voter-approved 2008 road bonds when he felt market indicators were advantageous.
The $35, 065,000 in bonds sold at a true interest cost of 2.489 percent, well below the estimate of the 3.16 percent that was used in projections during discussions with the County about the sale as well as the original 5.5-to-6-percent anticipated in 2008.
Since 2010 the County has realized more than $16 million in interest savings by refinancing bonds and certificates of obligation to take advantage of lower interest rates while maintaining the original maturity date of the bonds. The County has an AA bond rating, third highest available.
“The 2008 bonds allowed us to build roads to help keep up with our phenomenal growth at a time when state and federal funding sources were shrinking,” Precinct 1 Commissioner Debbie Gonzales Ingalsbe said. “Today’s estimated population is 195,000, which in 2008 when the bonds were approved was not expected to be reached until 2021, and our population growth shows no real sign of slowing down.”
When it put together its 2008 bond package, the Hays County Commissioners Court negotiated an agreement with the Texas Department of Transportation for the state agency to reimburse $133 million of the road improvements, with the reimbursements paid quarterly instead of annually once the roadways are completed. That has allowed the cost of the U.S. 290 improvements to be reimbursed in less than four years instead of the 20 years originally expected. While bonds were issued for approximately $148 million originally, the road projects themselves are now expected to cost approximately $125 million due to lower construction and material costs, contributions from area cities and Congressional earmarks for transportation improvements. TxDOT will still reimburse the entire $133 million, with any savings programmed to reduce the bond debt.
“Our 2008 road bonds are one of the most successful transportation programs in our state,” Precinct 3 Commissioner Will Conley said. “We have come in well under budget and have over-delivered on what the County told taxpayers in 2008, making our roadways safer and our communities more prosperous.”
Major improvements to U.S. 290, RM 12, FM 110, FM 1626 and I-35 are just a few of the projects that were accomplished by the bonds. For a complete look at road projects in Hays County, visit www.co.hays.tx.us and choose the Transportation Projects link.