Within the last three years, Archuleta County asked voters twice for an increased sales tax to fund the construction of a County Jail. Severe flooding destroyed their existing facility, which then required inmates to be transported and housed in Durango, more than hour away. Both ballots failed. The County approached Ehlers to help find a viable solution.
District officials engaged Ehlers to provide financial management planning services. Ehlers developed a financing plan allowing the County to build the jail within the parameters of an identified cash flow. We recommended a Certificate of Participation (COP) transaction. In planning this transaction, our advisors met with and presented to staff, County Commissioners and community residents to explain the details and impacts of the transaction and gain consensus amongst these constituents.
In June 2019, the County – under Ehlers’ advisement – issued $14.1 million in debt via COP. Even though this was Archuleta’s first financing in years, the County was able to receive a 3.00% rate on the 25-year issuance. It also received a healthy premium on the transaction, thereby reducing the overall amount of the issuance and lowering annual payments. Design of the new facility has begun.
*Deb Hinsvark was initially the lead municipal advisor on this project. She has since retired.