CRESTVIEW — A bond refinancing plan that will provide money to help pay for the southwest Crestview bypass project received the Okaloosa County Commission’s unanimous approval Tuesday.
The commission approved a $27 million bond issue in 2009 to pay for construction of the county Courthouse Annex Extension in Fort Walton Beach. By refinancing at a lower interest rate and using other saving opportunities, the total debt on those bonds will be reduced by more than $3.3 million.
County officials plan to pay off the adjusted debt of $28.2 million in 2039.
The refinancing effort also allows the county to secure $25 million to help pay for the bypass project, said Mark Galvin, the county’s financial adviser from Hilltop Securities in Orlando. The county plans to pay off the almost $40 million total debt service on those bond proceeds in 2049.
Officials plan to use revenue from the county’s 10-year, half-cent sales tax that took effect in January to pay off the overall debt.
In addition to using bond money, the county plans to pay for the estimated $200 million bypass with funds from the city of Crestview and state and federal sources. In April, the Triumph Gulf Coast board gave initial approval to provide up to $64.1 million in settlement money from the 2010 BP oil spill toward the project.
Triumph requires the county to have the construction portion of the project under contract by the end of 2020, county Public Works Director Jason Autrey said.
“I’m very excited about this” ability to get the $25 million in bond funds for the bypass, said District 1 Commissioner Graham Fountain, whose district includes a part of Crestview. “This is really getting things in perspective for us on this whole project, and making it where we won’t be sitting around holding the bag when we need to be moving.”