Polk could pay off senior center loan

Published 4:37 pm Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Move could mean $291k savings
Polk County commissioners are consideriång paying off the county’s loan for the senior center construction, which could mean a savings of $291,507 in interest.
Commissioners discussed paying off the loan during a budget retreat Jan. 23. The total payoff if the county were to pay off the loan on Dec. 28, 2012 would be $1,317,388.
The loan does have a pre-payment penalty. If the county pays off the loan in December 2012, the penalty would be $13,033. The earlier the loan is paid off, the higher the penalty.
Some commissioners discussed paying off the loan in April and using the savings to pay for employee salaries increases planned for next year.
Commissioner Tom Pack said the county needs to be careful and should hold off on paying off the loan in April.
Commissioner Renée McDermott said it seems like the thing to do is take it out of fund balance since the county’s not making any money on interest and to pay it off in April.
Polk County Finance Officer Sandra Hughes said the interest on the senior center loan is 3.9 percent and if commissioners want to pay off a loan this year the senior center loan makes the most sense.
Polk County purchased the former Carolina Classical School property off Skyuka Road near Columbus to house its Meeting Place Senior Center. The county has also renovated another building on the property that houses an adult day care, operated by Rutherford Life Services.
The original loan was for $1.7 million. Debt service on the loan is approximately $161,000 per year, with those payments decreasing every year.
Commissioners directed county manager Ryan Whitson to research the numbers on what it would mean to pay off the loan in April and to update the board during its Feb. 6 meeting.