Commissioners’ Court approves funding for capital projects

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By KAROLYN GEPHART

The Brazoria County Commissioners’ Court authorized the issuance of up to $8,725,000 in certificates of obligation to fund a variety of capital projects recently.

These projects include the construction of a satellite office to serve the southern sector of the county, the rebuilding of the county animal control facility, and other renovations and property acquisitions.

“Brazoria County’s high bond rating from all three rating entities, will allow for a better interest rate,” County Judge Matt Sebesta said. “I am very proud of our bond rating.”

The county has received the second highest bond rating which reflects in the county’s large and growing tax base. The county’s high bond rating is bolstered by the county’s conservative financial management and strong reserves.

In a report from Moody’s Investor Service, “Brazoria County credit strengths include a large and rapidly growing tax base, very strong finances and low debt burden.”

“This debt will be issued with no tax increase. The county’s growth enables strong budgetary flexibility and performance,” Don Gonzales, County Financial Advisor with Estrada-Hinojosa Investment Bankers said during Commissioners Court.

A new facility for County purposes tops the list at approximately $4.4 million. The facility will include County offices for the following: Justice of the Peace, Precinct 1-1, Tax Office; County Clerk, Sheriff, Constable, Commissioner Sub Office, and Health Department. This multi-purpose facility located in Lake Jackson will provide residents easy access to county services in one location.

Also $2.5 million will go to the construction and furnishing of a new county animal control building. A new larger facility will allow Animal Control Deputies to utilize space and equipment more adequately for the care of animals when housed at the facility.

Approximately $1 million of the $8,725,000 will go towards improvements and renovations of the Brazoria County Historical Museum. The museum once served as the courthouse for the county. Repairs on this historical building are needed to maintain the integrity of the structure and history that it represents.

Finally, $825,000 will go to the purchase of the building and land across from the courthouse for a much-needed parking lot for visitors conducting business at the courthouse.

Commissioners Court also authorized refunding on previously issued obligations used in 2008 for road improvements. By approving this refund, it will save Brazoria County $382,786 in interest over the next 10 years, county officials report.

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