St. Louis County completed the issuance of $26 million general obligation bonds this month in order to construct three new Public Works maintenance facilities.

The bond sale was authorized by the St. Louis County Board in August, and County Auditor Nancy Nilsen updated commissioners last week in Virginia that the interest rates on the bonds came back at a "very favorable" 1.85%.

"We knew the marketplace was getting volatile, so it was good that we were ready to go," said Nilsen, who credited commissioners for authorizing the sale when they did. "I'm very pleased that we received such a great rate, and that the bond rating agency reaffirmed St. Louis County's strong financial position."

Gary Meader / gmeader@duluthnews.com
Gary Meader / gmeader@duluthnews.com

Commissioner Keith Nelson, of Fayal Township, praised the Auditor's Office and others who worked on the bond issuance: "Maintaining our double-A-plus credit rating is huge," Nelson said during the Sept. 14 meeting. "The sound fiscal management we continue to demonstrate in St. Louis County is once again paying dividends for our taxpayers as we move forward on these long overdue projects."

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The $26 million bonds will fund the construction of three new maintenance facilities in Kugler Township, Culver Township and near the Whiteface Reservoir.

The facilities will replace five smaller garages in Tower, Embarrass, Brookston, Brimson and the town of White that have outlived usefulness due to age, lack of space, or both, a county news release said.

Gary Meader / gmeader@duluthnews.com
Gary Meader / gmeader@duluthnews.com

The bond sale also will cover the costs to construct a public works storage building, salt/sand dome and brine-making system at the Meadowlands Public Works Maintenance Facility; two salt/sand dome buildings and brine-making systems at the Floodwood and Hibbing garages; and three salt/sand dome facilities at the Jean Duluth, Cotton and Buyck Public Works garages.

Gary Meader / gmeader@duluthnews.com
Gary Meader / gmeader@duluthnews.com