Commissioners prepare county for debt up to $7 million

Melissa Crowe By Melissa Crowe

Oct. 28, 2013 at 5:28 a.m.
Updated Oct. 29, 2013 at 5:29 a.m.

Victoria County commissioners positioned themselves Monday to take on as much as $7 million in debt.

County Judge Don Pozzi said the debt, which will be issued later in certificates of obligation, will fund the courtroom expansion, property purchases and other projects.

The action taken Monday allows the county to reimburse itself for projects related to the debt once the certificates are issued, which could be as late as next year, Pozzi said.

"We needed to do this because we're already spending the money," he said.

Any expenses made 60 days before Monday qualify for reimbursement, which must be made within three years.

The court approved a $300,000 budget amendment to purchase the Hartman Distributing Building, which will qualify for reimbursement once the purchase is closed next week. Any renovations done to the building will also be reimbursed, Pozzi said.

Pozzi said he did not know how much debt the court would take on or when it would approve the certificates.

"Whatever we spend prior to the issuance of the certificates of obligation, this allows us to reimburse ourselves for those expenses," he said. "We can recoup that money we have spent out of our reserves; it's not an additional indebtedness."

According to court records, the projects that qualify for reimbursement include the properties to be purchased for county judicial and administrative offices; renovation, improvement and equipping county buildings including the courthouse, judicial facilities, juvenile detention center and the administrative offices; vehicles for the sheriff's office; demolition and abatement of buildings at the airport; and road and drainage projects.

With no discussion among the court, Commissioner Gary Burns made a motion to move forward, and Commissioner Kevin Janak seconded it.

Commissioner Danny Garcia was absent.



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