Ford panel OKs bonds for courthouse, jail

PAXTON — Ford County property taxpayers will help fund some of the $1.2 million in repairs being completed in and around the courthouse and jail in Paxton, but their tax bills shouldn't see more than a "small increase" in the next couple of years, officials said.

The Ford County Public Building Commission voted 3-0 this week, with two members absent, to issue $800,000 in bonds to help pay for repairs and renovations at the two county-owned facilities.

The bonds will be paid back through the county's annual tax levy over a 10-year period.

Earlier this month, the commission had been authorized by the county board to bond up to $950,000 to cover the projects, which have a total cost of $1.233 million. However, the commission went with a smaller amount, agreeing to cover the rest of the cost using some of the $1.2 million on hand from the sale of the county's nursing home.

"We tried to bond the money so taxpayers won't necessarily see an increase. There may be a small increase in the first or second year, but it should (eventually) level off to what we are (levying) now," said the building commission's chairman, Ron Shapland of rural Cullom.

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