The Cattaraugus County Legislature on Wednesday decided to refinance the $9,750,000 principal outstanding for two of its serial bonds for a net savings of $331,601 over 13 years.
The refunding package, accepted unanimously by legislators in a roll-call vote, affects the debt service for two bonds, issued in 1996 and 1997.
Refinancing will trim the county's affected debt service payments between $36,000 -- the maximum savings to be seen in 2005 -- to less than $14,000 -- the minimum savings seen at maturity in 2017.
"We're taking advantage of low interest rates," said Legislator Paul Shafer, R-Olean, in support of the measure by Finance Committee members Crystal J. Abers, R-South Dayton, and Carmen A. Vecchiarella, D-Salamanca. The refinancing resolution was introduced Wednesday, with seven other pieces of legislation, without prior committee debate.
In other business, legislators authorized an agreement with Allegany-Limestone Central School District to provide a school resource officer, with the full cost to be paid by the district and to automatically abolish the program when the school's funding is terminated.
The lawmakers also received the final report containing recommendations of the Strategic Planning Committee from Legislator Thomas M. Moser, R-Olean. Moser said that some immediate monetary savings could be realized within two to five years by following the high priority recommendations.
"We are always looking at ways to encourage partnering and ways to make the county more efficient," he said, describing the report as a "work in progress and something that needs to be worked on constantly."
Among the recommendations:
Eliminate delayed billing by assigned counsel for legal fees to improve budget planning.
Take a close look at staffing, hours of operation and other costs of the museum move into the Stone House in Machias, and address future uses of the old museum on Court Street in Little Valley.
Step up the county administrator's office involvement in providing cost estimates during negotiations, while also encouraging increased computerization of the Human Resources Department.
Implement a timeclock system.
Evaluate options for contracted GIS services and examine costs of providing assessment services to municipalities by the Real Property Tax Service Department.
Monitor the cost-effectiveness of the Public Defender Department.
Reduce the Development and Agriculture Committee, Finance Committee, Human Services, Public Safety, Public Works and Senior Services budget contributions to match federal and state funding, or other outside revenue streams.
Intermediate string overflow Cannot justify line Evaluate the feasibility of joint processing of human services, nursing homes and senior services accounts.
Operate the Olean and Machias Nursing Homes as self-balancing without county subsidy.