County sells bonds for public-safety projects

St. Louis County recently sold $11.6 million in bonds to finance two public-safety projects.

The county on Sept. 28 sold $11,640,000 to finance a new crime laboratory and improvements to its 911 call center.

Roughly $3 million in tax-exempt bonds were sold to Hutchinson Shockey Erley of Chicago, and roughly $8.6 million in taxable Build America Bonds were sold to Stifel Nicolaus of St. Louis, according to county Director of Administration Pamela Reitz.

The Build America Bond program is a component of the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and expires at the end of this year.

Under the BAB program, the federal government provides issuers with a 35-percent subsidy for each interest payment.

Proceeds from the bond sale will be available to the county Oct. 15, Reitz said.

The effective interest rate on the bonds is 3.25 percent, and the annual debt service is estimated at $692,000, she said.

Debt service will be paid from the county’s general fund using revenue from River City Casino.

“Today’s sale saw better pricing against market benchmarks than other recent sales by the county,” Reitz wrote in a Sept. 28 letter to County Executive Charlie Dooley, “and interests, overall, remain near historic lows.”