XENIA — Greene County Commissioners passed a resolution Thursday authorizing the sale of tax bonds (at a reduced rate) to be used toward the construction of the proposed $50 million jail.
The resolution authorizes the issuance of (not to exceed $30 million) bonds for the purpose of acquiring, constructing, equipping, furnishing, and improving a detention facility and appurtenant facilities as well as related site improvements; providing for the collection of a pledge of receipts from the county’s 1 percent sales tax sufficient for the purchase of providing for the payment of principle and interest on said bonds.
“So basically, we’re building a $50 million jail, borrowing $30 million, leveraging $20 million cash and repaying that bond over 30 years,” said County Administrator Brandon Huddleson. “Our payments will come out to $1.7 million a year (which includes interest and principal) for 30 years.”
Currently there is a 6.75 percent sales tax in the county with 1 percent of the revenue going to Greene County (which accounts for 50 percent of its operating budget), and 5.75 percent going to the state of Ohio.
“We can competitively bid this out to bond holders who buy municipal debt and we’ll go with the one who gives us the best rate and terms,” said Hudleson, who hopes to have an architect and construction manager on board within a month and a half and under contract by June for Design Phase 1.
The county tried twice to pass a sales tax increase to pay for a jail.
Voters rejected Issue 1 in November, which was seeking a .25 percent sales tax increase, and not a property tax. A similar levy was presented to voters in April 2020. It sought to increase the number of beds from 382 to 500 and also failed.
If Issue 1 had passed, the county would have been able to pay off the estimated $50 million build projection in 16 years.
The county applied for a state capital improvement grant for county jails last June but was not selected.
Both sales tax increases would have also allowed the county to build a new administration building for the sheriff and a new adult detention center. Under the current plan, only a jail will be constructed.
Reach Karen Rase at 937-502-4534.