Supervisors approve loan for 911 system, courthouse

The Marshall County Board of Supervisors approved and authorized $4.6 million of general obligation capital loan notes at the regular Tuesday meeting.

The money will be used for the $3.6 million emergency communications upgrade project and for Marshall County Courthouse repairs.

There was not a lot of discussion in the 30-minute meeting. Supervisor Dave Thompson said there was one thing he wanted to point in the multiple-page deal with Northland Securities.

“After a particular period of time, we do have the ability to prepay and redeem these notes,” he said.

Supervisor Steve Salasek said he was under the impression they had discussed a 0.95 percent interest rate and pointed out there was a 1 percent rate in the deal. Auditor Nan Benson said 0.95 is the overall, but wondered if the additional 0.05 percent are fees from Northland Securities.

Thompson said Jeff Heil, former auditor for the county, removed his personal fees from the deal.

“He just needs to be commended that he removed his personal fees and he certainly didn’t have to,” he said.

Benson said Heil told her as a Marshall County tax payer, he wanted to do that.

The capital loan notes will be issued in a series and will carry a date of March 17.

The supervisors also approved using UMB Bank of West Des Moines as the bond registrar. Previously, Supervisor Bill Patten said he would like to keep the business local. Benson said two Marshall County banks – Farmers and Midwest One in Melbourne – were “in the mix” but added UMB was the overall bank that could be central in the whole loan..

The journey to approve the general obligation notes for the emergency communications project began in December 2019. Then, State Center Fire Chief Brad Pfantz informed the supervisors about the failing system, with lost calls and bad reception, creating hazardous situations for first responders and residents of Marshall County.

One of the major hurdles facing the county was where to find the money to finance the project. They decided to get general obligation loan notes from Northland Securities after considering different avenues of financing the project, such as borrowing money from the county Health Fund.

The county has contracted with RACOM to build the upgraded system, and the process will take 12 to 18 months. First, the county has to acquire the land where communications towers will be placed.

In other business:

• The supervisors approved a construction permit for a new free stall building, milking parlor, sand land and earthen manure storage basins for Marshall Ridge Farms.

• Set a March 16 public hearing for the 2021-22 Marshall County budget.

• Discussed adding an item to a future agenda regarding licensing of side-by-sides, or UTVs, on secondary roads. Robby Wignall spoke during the public forum and told the supervisors he would like to see that happen. Thompson said he would like to talk to law enforcement about it, as well as the county engineer.

• Mark Eaton asked if the process and timeline of Sheriff Steve’s Hoffman transition to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office be made public. Benson said the county cannot do anything until Hoffman submits his resignation.


Contact Lana Bradstream at 641-753-6611 or vlbradstream@timesrepublican.com.


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