Howard sells $38.5 million in bonds

rate tops 1999 sale

County to pay $222,000 additional in interest

March 29, 2000|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

Howard County sold $38.5 million in bonds yesterday at an interest rate that will cost $222,000 a year more in interest than those sold last year.

County Finance Director Dale B. Neubert said a 10-member syndicate represented by Salomon Smith Barney offered the low bid of 5.281467 percent for $35.5 million in general government bonds, about a half percent higher than last year's sale.

Another $3 million in water and sewer bonds went to PaineWebber Inc. at 5.6364 percent.

"It's higher than we've paid in the last few years," Neubert said, adding that it is close to what the county paid in 1997.

The county's AAA bond rating helps it keep interest rates low.

County Budget Director Raymond S. Wacks said he hopes the bonds can be refinanced in several years if interest rates drop.

Wacks said the interest on $5 million in bonds would be paid by the county's excise tax -- fees paid by developers for road construction.

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