The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

June 26, 2013

Commission OKs financing for sheriff’s building projects

By Susan Redden

CARTHAGE, Mo. — The Jasper County Commission agreed Wednesday to contract with Arvest Bank to finance part of the costs for two building projects for the Sheriff’s Department.

Richard Webster, county auditor, said he recommended the bank’s proposal to finance $322,500 at an interest rate of 1.8 percent. Six banks submitted proposals, and Webster said Arvest’s was the most competitive.

“We also don’t have to pay closing costs; it will be repaid over a four-year period,” he said.

The financing will pay for just over half the costs of a $495,000 project to remodel a county-owned building as a new sheriff’s headquarters, plus construction of a $125,000 vehicle maintenance building to be used by the sheriff’s office and other county offices. The office renovation is under way in a former bank building on the northwest corner of the Carthage square.

Remaining funds for the projects will come from county reserves. All those funds, and more, will be repaid from the law enforcement sales tax trust fund over a period of four years.

Webster said that in addition to the building projects, money from the sales tax fund will pay the remaining costs of work under way to upgrade security and electrical systems in the county jail, at $65,190, plus design costs for the office renovation and the purchase of additional land next to the jail. The property is being used for sheriff’s parking and could be used for a potential jail expansion.

“Some of those numbers might be subject to negotiation,” Webster said. “But county reserves fronted the money for some of those projects, and this will allow us to replenish those funds.”

He said $230,000 from the sales tax fund will be committed as repayments over the four-year period, including $84,000 for the bank financing.

Sheriff Randee Kaiser earlier said his office will save $70,000 a year in rental fees by moving back to Carthage from rented space near Duenweg. He said he also has realized savings since the Jasper County Emergency Services Board took over sheriff’s dispatching at no charge.

Completion date

THE BUILDING RENOVATION is to be completed by Nov. 1, and Sheriff Randee Kaiser said he expects his officers to be in the new space by the end of the year.