The LaGrange County Council approved a $1.2 million technology bond issue at Monday morning’s meeting. The proceeds from the bonds will be used to fund numerous software and hardware purchases.
The seven-year, tax-free bonds, as unanimously approved, will bear interest of no more than 4 percent per annum, and will have semi-annual payments of $100,000 starting in July 2013. There will be no pre-payment clause in the bonds.
Commissioners received bids on many of the technology projects last week. Those bids totaled (low bids) $732,434.05. One bid was immediately accepted for new consoles at the communications department. Other bids are being held pending funds becoming available.
An additional estimated $380,000 in software for the assessor, treasurer, and auditor may also come from the bonds. This software package will move the county away from the Manatron package of programs currently used by some 63 of 92 Indiana counties. Annual maintenance costs with Manatron are approximately $70,000 and officeholders are not overjoyed with the Manatron service.
“We have looked at three different companies, all of which look to promise better, more user friendly and workable programs than what we currently have,” explained Information Technology Director Bob Murphy.
There is an estimated $65,000 in soft costs (bond counsel fees, financial advisor fees, bond sale discount, etc.) also included.
CountyAttorneyKurt Bachman explained that he has consulted with the county’s financial advisor, Jeff Peters, and is recommending a seven-year bond based on the useful life of the items to be purchased, impact on local taxpayers, and saleability of bonds.
Council also approved using $1,239 in infraction deferral funds to send three people to a child abuse and/or death seminar. The request was presented by County Prosecuting Attorney Jeff Wible.