Police dept. bond payoff reduced to 12 years

FLINT TWP. — It’s a done deal. Nothing left to do but sign the papers and the township board will reach a months-long goal to refinance the police department bond, saving taxpayers more than half a million dollars in interest payments.

The board unanimously approved a resolution Monday accepting a proposal from JPMorgan Chase Bank to refinance the police bond debt at a fixed interest rate of 2.49 percent for 12 years.

The action will pay off early the previous bond debt which had a higher 4-5 percent variable rate and 19 years until maturity and will establish a new contract term. That will save an estimated $528,458.75 over the term of the new loan.

Since the beginning of the year, the board had looked at various methods of refinancing the police bond debt including borrowing the money from its own surplus water and sewer fund and repaying it at a lower interest rate. Some trustees balked at that plan for fear of compromising the ability of the water and sewer fund to meet unforeseen emergencies.

The newly reformed township Building Authority approved the police bond refunding resolution with Chase Bank at its September meeting, according to Tracey Tucker, township building supervisor.

“We are paying a little more in payments but will be paid off quicker,” she said of the new terms which begin in December.

Bank proposals for the refinancing deal ranged from 2.5 to 3.5 percent with variables from three to six percent but the Building Authority decided that Chase’s 2.49 percent was an “excellent rate.”

Trustee Frank Kasle praised the rate, complimented everyone involved in getting the deal done and called it a much better plan than borrowing from the sewer and water fund.

In a statement after the meeting, Supervisor Karyn Miller said she was very pleased with the unanimous board approval to refinance the police station bond.

“I have wanted to take action on this for the past couple of years,” she said. “I define this as good financial management. The township qualified for this low interest rate in part due to our good credit rating which has risen over the past few years as the board of trustees continues to fulfill it’s fiduciary duties following good financial practices.”

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