County to lose $30K interest

Published 9:44 am Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Current economic conditions are costing Americans dollar after dollar as banks offer lower and lower rates of return on certificates of deposit and other financial notes.

The lower rates are affecting a larger number of Americans everyday and residents of Escambia County may soon feel the pinch — even if they don’t have a certificate of deposit of their own.

The Escambia County Commission approved the reinvestment of a $1 million certificate of deposit during a meeting Monday that will cost the county more than $30,000 in interest revenue based on previous rates paid.

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County Commission Chairman David Stokes said the reinvestment of funds was done at the best rate offered by financial institutions in the county.

“We are putting the money right back where it came from,” Stokes said. “The best rate we could get came from Escambia County Bank in Flomaton. We are reinvesting for 18 months at 1.05 percent.”

County Administrator Tony Sanks said the reinvestment is a drop of more than three points since the investment was made 18 months ago.

“This CD was earning 4.22 percent interest when it was originally invested,” Sanks said. “With the rate of 1.05 percent, we are going to lose a little over $31,700 a year in interest revenues.”

Sanks said the interest rates were not a surprise, but is one that has seen a dramatic change in the last three years.

“Three years ago we collected about $300,000 a year in interest revenues from our investments,” Sanks said. “This year, that amount will be less than $100,000.”

Stokes said the county typically collects interest revenue and moves the majority of the revenue into active financial accounts.

“We typically spend 80 percent of our interest revenue in our general fund,” Stokes said. “We reinvest the remaining 20 percent.”

In other business, the commission:

• Approved the reappointment of four individuals to the Department of Human Resources Board. Reappointed were Magaline Marshall, Joe Elliott, Jettie Everette and Diane Saloom;

• Approved the transfer of inventory items to the National Forestry Commission and the Escambia County Regional Child Advocacy Center;

• Heard from County Engineer Bill Bridges concerning paving and other projects of the county.

“We are still waiting on FEMA funds to arrive before we can move forward in completing some of our projects,” Bridges told commissioners. “We have depleted all of our funds on things like concrete pipe and base work. Until we get the funds from FEMA we can’t patch these projects and get them completed.”

Bridges did say County Road 69 is open only to local traffic.

Commissioners set the next administrative meeting for Sept. 24 at 9 a.m. in anticipation of a regular meeting to discuss the annual budget.