Serving Northern St. Louis County, Minnesota

County bond sale to fund projects in Cook, Virginia

Marshall Helmberger
Posted 2/28/18

REGIONAL— The sale of a total of $28.1 million in new bonds, recently approved by the St. Louis County Board, will provide funding for major capital improvement projects in Cook and Virginia. …

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County bond sale to fund projects in Cook, Virginia

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REGIONAL— The sale of a total of $28.1 million in new bonds, recently approved by the St. Louis County Board, will provide funding for major capital improvement projects in Cook and Virginia.

Among other things, the funds will provide for initial costs related to the new Cook public works maintenance facility. About $15 million in additional bonding will be required to finish the Cook project, which includes renovations at the former Disability Specialists office near Cook, as well as construction of three new buildings on the 60-acre site. The new buildings will include an 82,000-square foot heated facility for vehicle storage and maintenance, a 16,500-square foot cold storage building, and a 16,500-square foot structure for salt and sand storage.

The existing office building on the site will be renovated for county offices for public works, the land department, and possibly other partners. The building will not be demolished, as a recent local rumor suggested.

Portions of the former Linden Grove public works garage, however, will be demolished, although a salt and sand shed and equipment storage building at the site will be maintained, according to county communications officer Dana Kazel. County public works staff currently stationed at Linden Grove will report to the new Cook facility. The total project is estimated to be completed by late summer or fall of next year.

The majority of the most recent bonding will pay for demolition and construction of a new Government Services Center-North facility in Virginia. The GSC-North Facility will serve as a centralized hub for people in Virginia and surrounding areas to access county services from more than 10 departments in one place. The two-story, 63,000-square foot building will replace the aging Northland Office Building. Ground breaking is expected to take place by early summer, with a goal completion date of fall 2019. Approximately 180 employees will work in the building.

Because of the county’s strong AA+ credit rating and the market place providing the financing, the interest rate will be 3.058 percent. While the county is issuing $28.1 million in bonds, based on the competitive bidding process, the county will actually receive $29.78 million. In other words, the county will receive an additional $1.68 million that will offset future financing costs.

“We are very pleased with the results of the issuance,” said County Auditor Don Dicklich. “It demonstrates that strong financial management pays dividends for our taxpayers.”

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