By Jeff Guy
The Newton Kansan
Harvey County has seven outstanding debts for structural and infrastructural projects ranging from purchasing property to create additional parking space at the courthouse to covering expenses for the Kansas Logistics Park.
According to documents requested by The Newton Kansan and provided by The Newton Kansan, the county carries a current debt load of $6.5 million.
The county has five general obligation bonds totaling $5,490,000. There are two public building commission revenue bonds totaling $1,055,000. Together, the numbers total at $6,545,000.
General obligation bonds are issued by governmental bodies and may be paid off through taxes and various other ways governments generate money. GO bonds are the only kind of bonds the county commission will issue.
The GO Series 2009 bond had a dual purpose. Of the $918,500 issued, $201,500 was used to purchase property south of the courthouse and law enforcement center.
There were two buildings there, one of which has been removed. The other is still there, and is currently being used by the Sheriff's Office for various purposes. The properties were purchased for the purpose of converting it to additional parking space for the courthouse at some point.
The remaining $717,000 was to construct Schaben Court Road, located off of 72nd Street South, west of I-135. Upon construction, special assessments were levied on the property adjacent to the road. The special assessments are for 15 years and are paid for by the property owners of the eight lots. Its current balance is $855. The bond matures in 2025.
Among the general obligation bonds, the smallest debt was a temporary note issued in 2010 at $299,000 to pay for a new roof on the jail/Law Enforcement Training Center. The balance of that bond is now $145,000 and it is to be paid off in 2014.
The bond for paying on the Kansas Logistic Park isn't scheduled to be paid for entirely until 2031. That bond was issued in 2011 at $3,335,000. Its current balance is $3,265,000.
On March 29, 2010, the city of Newton and Harvey County signed an interlocal agreement, specifying that the county's GO bond would be for $3.3 million with an amount not to exceed $2.9 million for purchase of the land, an amount not to exceed $400,000 for drainage, development costs not to exceed $30,000 and the remainder would be for the cost of issuance, Anthony Swartendruber, assistant Harvey County administrator, said.
Other general obligation bonds are:
GO Series 2010 -- Refunding bonds issued for the county's solid waste operation, including recycling building, municipal solid waste transfer building, landfill closure costs and equipment. This bond was issued in 2010 to pay for $1,880,000. Its current balance is $925,000 and it is supposed to be paid off in 2015.
GO Series 2012 -- Issued at $300,000 in 2012 to cover the county's match for the city/county airport runway replacement. The balance is still $300,000 and the bond is to be paid off in 2012.
Public building commission revenue bonds are also used to acquire and/or build on land and facilities. The method of payment is different, however. Essentially, the county makes lease payments to the Public Building Commission -- a five person entity appointed by the county commission.
The PBC is comprised of a county commissioner, city government member and three individuals from the community. This board issues PBC revenue bonds at the request of the county commission. Harvey County has two PBC revenue bonds.
PBC revenue bond, series 2010 -- Issued at $460,000 in 2010 for fairgrounds development. Its current balance is $305,000 and it should be paid off in 2014.
PBC revenue bond, series 2013 -- Issued at $750,000, which is still the balance. This bond is to be paid off in 2021.