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By Staff | Oct 14, 2012

The Pierce County Commission is looking into ways to pay off money owed to the Job Development Authority for the Heart of America Correctional and Treatment Center (HACTC), potentially saving hundreds of thousands of dollars in interest.

At its meeting Oct. 2, the commission met with Merchants Bank President Craig Johnson to discuss options for paying off a loan, including a loan at a lower interest rate or using county CDs.

After the correctional center went bankrupt, the JDA purchased the facility from the USDA with the help of a Community Facilities Loan.

The county and JDA are currently in a 20-year lease-to-own agreement with the county operating the center.

Paying off the now-profitable correctional center early could save up to $39,000 a year in interest.

Although no official action has been taken, multiple committee members said they wanted to get the process started by the beginning of next year.

The 2013 budget was passed unanimously, but not without some spirited discussion over employee raises.

The meeting got heated for a few minutes as commissioner Joe Bohl confronted commissioner Rick Larson over his dedication to the commission, bringing up two meetings Bohl viewed as being very important, one Larson was late for and another he missed.

Larson said the meeting he missed was marked for a different day on his calendar.

The commission spoke with Jessica Tagestad of Wold Engineering about a number of potential road projects and debated which may take priority.

The commission met with state Rep. Jon Nelson, R-Rugby, and state Sen. Jerry Klein, R-Fessenden, about legislative issues, mainly the difficulty in implementing state-mandated increases for social services employees at the county level.

The legislators also talked to the commission about potential future funding to counties and other budget issues.

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Exploring options

By Staff | Oct 14, 2012

The Pierce County Commission is looking into ways to pay off money owed to the Job Development Authority for the Heart of America Correctional and Treatment Center (HACTC), potentially saving hundreds of thousands of dollars in interest.

At its meeting Oct. 2, the commission met with Merchants Bank President Craig Johnson to discuss options for paying off a loan, including a loan at a lower interest rate or using county CDs.

After the correctional center went bankrupt, the JDA purchased the facility from the USDA with the help of a Community Facilities Loan.

The county and JDA are currently in a 20-year lease-to-own agreement with the county operating the center.

Paying off the now-profitable correctional center early could save up to $39,000 a year in interest.

Although no official action has been taken, multiple committee members said they wanted to get the process started by the beginning of next year.

The 2013 budget was passed unanimously, but not without some spirited discussion over employee raises.

The meeting got heated for a few minutes as commissioner Joe Bohl confronted commissioner Rick Larson over his dedication to the commission, bringing up two meetings Bohl viewed as being very important, one Larson was late for and another he missed.

Larson said the meeting he missed was marked for a different day on his calendar.

The commission spoke with Jessica Tagestad of Wold Engineering about a number of potential road projects and debated which may take priority.

The commission met with state Rep. Jon Nelson, R-Rugby, and state Sen. Jerry Klein, R-Fessenden, about legislative issues, mainly the difficulty in implementing state-mandated increases for social services employees at the county level.

The legislators also talked to the commission about potential future funding to counties and other budget issues.

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