FERGUS FALLS -- In light of lower interest rates, Otter Tail County commissioners voted Sept. 10 to refinance bonds for the Perham refuse burner.

Taxable interest rates are currently below 3%, which is lower than the 3.5% to 5% applicable to the $7.1 million outstanding on 2011 bonds. A taxable refunding of the 2011 debt indicates greater than $600,000 net savings opportunity at current market levels.

Prairie Lakes Municipal Solid Waste Authority Nick Anhut, senior municipal advisor with Ehlers consultants, reviewed a document with the county commissioners titled "Bond Issuance Timeline" for taxable refunding of the general obligation disposal system revenue bonds, series 2011.

The County Finance Committee has inquired about potential refinancing opportunities related to the existing debt of the solid waste authority and its Perham Resource Recovery facility.

The Prairie Lakes Municipal Solid Waste Authority is owner and operator of the facility and is a joint powers entity consisting of five counties: Becker, Clay, Otter Tail, Todd and Wadena.

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Otter Tail County has issued bonds to facilitate acquisition and capital improvements to the facility under terms of a joint powers financing agreement pledging the net revenues of the facility to pay the debt and further backed by the full faith and credit of the member counties.

A motion on Sept. 10 by commissioner John Lindquist of Dalton and seconded by commissioner Lee Rogness of Fergus Falls was unanimously carried to proceed with the process. This action will result in refinancing the county’s General Obligation Disposal System Revenue Bonds, Series 2011.