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Commission approves $2.2M library loan

by Minden Press-Herald

Expansion of the Webster Parish Library’s Mack Memorial Branch in Springhill is a step closer to reality.
Monday the State Bond Commission announced it has approved $2.2 million in Certificate of Indebtedness for the Webster Parish Police Jury for library construction and improvements.

“A certificate of indebtedness is one of the ways a government agency borrows money for large projects,” Beverly Hammett, director of the library said. “Now that the certificate has been approved, our bonding attorney will advertise we have $2.2 million in bonds for sale and whoever (banks) gives us the lowest interest rate gets the bid.”

These funds are only used for capital outlay projects and must be expended within three years of receipt. They are kept separate from the 10-year operating tax money approved by voters earlier this year.

“Once the library receives the money, we will be set up on a payment schedule to repay the debt within our 10-year taxing period,” Hammett said.

The Springhill branch will be 20 years old next year, and the funds will be used to renovate and enlarge the library. Seven years ago the Eugene Eason family donated the lot next to the library for future expansion, and the rapid escalation of technology needs has necessitated the renovation of the current building.

“If there are funds left, we will enlarge the adult section of the Minden library and add a larger meeting room,” Hammett said.

A political subdivision (such as the parish, municipality, or taxing district) cannot borrow funds without the approval of the State Bond Commission. Applications are submitted to and reviewed by the commission. If the applications meet legal requirements and feasibility, including an ability to repay, they are approved.

A certificate of indebtedness gives certificate holders the promise of a return of their funds with a fixed coupon. In 1981, the U.S. government stopped issuing such certificates and replaced them with short-term T-bills.

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