Holmes is “wowed” over county achievements

GREENVILLE — The Darke County Board of Commissioners met Thursday to discuss debt payments and FFA achievements. Commissioners Matt Aultman, Mike Stegall, and Larry Holmes were present.

“I am leaving Darke County relatively debt free, and I couldn’t be any happier,” Stegall said.

Aultman said today is a banner day for the simple fact that in 2012 they rebonded the debt in the county in the amount of $7.13 Million for the Wagner Ave. facility. Since then, they have been making some interest and principal payments on the debt, and in 2020 the county was able to pay off one of the three bonds.

“It was $740,000 in debt, of which it was $437,218 was interest savings by paying it off early,” Aultman said.

This year, the commissioners were able to pay two of them off. Today, the money went through for the second half of the second debt. That debt was “$6.93 million of which they paid the final portion of both.”

By paying it off almost 15 years early, the commissioners saved the county $510,407 in interest. Aultman said it was a group effort to pull off this task.

“It was the work of the commissioners, work of the budgeting and appropriations process, work other individuals such as the auditor helping us to balance the budget and making that work, the treasurer, plus all the other departments being conservative on their money to get us to the point where we have some access funds to pay off all the debt,” Aultman said.

Back when Stegall and Aultman first talked six years ago, Stegall advised Aultman he wanted to get Darke County out of debt before he left, and as of today, “aside from a small non repayable EPA loan, the county is out of debt.”

“It was a shot in the dark, but we worked awfully hard – everybody has worked awfully hard to get this done, and it is one of the things I am most proud of,” Stegall said.

This will open up further development within the county without the debt being over their heads.

“We had Lady Justice removed from the Courthouse today,” Aultman said.

The head of maintenance Dale Musser advised it was time…

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