At the April 16, 2012, meeting of Scott County’s Board of Commissioners, County Mayor Jeff Tibbals outlined steps that are being taken to reduce the county’s long-term debt obligations over the next 10 years.
Scott County’s long-term debt peaked at $43,486,918 on Sept. 1, 2010. As of April 1, 2012, the long-term debt was $40,223,597. By the end of fiscal year 2021-2022, the debt should be reduced to $21,217,771, if current debt reduction plans are maintained.
The County Mayor’s Office and Scott County Budget Committee have also worked to reduce expenses in a number of areas. As part of the budgeting process for the 2011-2012 fiscal year, the Budget Committee reduced charitable contributions by $41,000, reduced contributions to other agencies, and rejected $200,000 in requests from various county departments.
Since County Mayor Jeff Tibbals took office Sept. 1, 2010, the county has worked to implement an East Tennessee Development District energy grant that will reduce energy costs, eliminated Internet access in some departments, eliminated a number of cell phones that were being carried by county employees, reduced travel expense reimbursements for county employees, and changed contracts to firms charging lower fees. Additionally, ambulance billing was outsourced, which saved the county the revenue used to salary three positions, created three new jobs and increased revenues generated by the ambulance service.
Highlights of the county’s debt reduction schedule include:
• By the end of FY 2011-2012 (June 30, 2012), the county’s long-term debt obligation will have been reduced to $38,922,851, down 10% from Sept. 1, 2010.
• Annual debt payments will peak at $4,012,750 in FY 2012-2013 and decline each year thereafter, to $2,682,264 in FY 2020-2021.
• By the end of FY 2021-2022, the debt will be reduced to $21,217,771, down 51% from Sep. 1, 2010.
• All of the county’s current bank notes will be paid off by the end of FY 2018-2019 (June 30, 2019), with the exception of a 2009 aviation series note, which will be paid off by the end of FY 2020-2021.
• At the conclusion of FY 2020-2021, the debt reduction schedule calls for Scott County to owe $15 million in loan agreements, $4.8 million in bonds and $199,000 in tax and revenue bonds.