"We were paying anywhere from 4% to 5% interest, so we're going to save that much money in interest each year," states Richard Hilderbrand, Cherokee County Commissioner.
The money is going to pay down county debt.
"The annual payments were a little over $200,000 a year," says Hilderbrand.
That means less money will be needed from taxpayers. Cherokee County Commissioner Richard Hilderbrand says on average, that will mean a savings of roughly $1.40 per thousand dollars of assessed value in property taxes. Now the trick is to make sure it stays that way.
"As long as we don't add 2 more mills to the budget next year, potentially you could see at least, just off of that one action that we did by paying off that debt, a two mill decrease in taxes," states Hilderbrand.
About $400,000 of that went to pay off 12 road graders the county purchased in 2008. The rest was used to pay other debts, like repairs made to the court house elevator, storms sirens purchased for rural areas of the county and mowing tractors. Hilderbrand says paying off the debt is a promise the commissioners wanted to keep to voters.
"Now it's up to us. Now that we've got that, we continue to spend what's left of it wisely, to benefit the citizens," says Hilderbrand.
The only debt the county will be left with now is what they owe on the jail. Hilderbrand says the commission is currently looking at ways to potentially refinance that debt, which would likely save taxpayers even more money.