Even the most notorious coupon clippers and bargain hunters can appreciate Sandusky’s latest money saver.
At a recent public meeting, city commissioners authorized using a lower interest rate for items they purchased with debt about a decade ago.
The end result: At no cost, the lower interest rate should save the city about $97,000 over a 15-year period ending in 2029.
“Most municipalities, as long as the interest rate is favorable, take advantage of this option,” Sandusky finance director Hank Solowiej said. “We’re not pulling the rug out from anyone. Many times there is the ability to refinance a deal like this."
This new deal with a less expensive interest rate doesn't extend the city's debt obligation.
“This is a good thing for the city,” Solowiej said. “It just shows we are continuing to be good stewards of taxpayer money. Anywhere we can save money for the city, whether in operating expenses or debt, we look into it.”
In 2005, city commissioners borrowed about $3.47 million to either buy, build or upgrade the following: the wastewater and water systems; fire trucks; the west end overpass; the Shelby Street Public Boat Launch; and a sidewalk, curb and gutter program.
The principal amount totaled $3.47 million. Solowiej estimated the remaining balance, including interest, equals about $1.96 million.
Before the commission approved the move, the city’s finance committee — a volunteer board consisting of several certified public accountants — signed off.