The Ottawa County Commissioners will try to get educated on the advantages of refinancing the county's bonds for the Ottawa County Courthouse before deciding if they want to do it.

Chris Byrom of Johanning & Byrom said the county could save $850,000 by refinancing its $6,895,000 in bonds. “We believe the county's 5.8 percent interest could be lowered to 3.8 percent and save about $35,000 a year,” he said.

The new bonds would expire in 2036, just like the present bonds.

If the commissioners decide to refinance the Ottawa County Governmental Building Authority's outstanding bonds Byrom said he will see if they can't get an “A” rating for the new bonds from Standard & Poore.

Also, he said the county could eliminate the reserve account that has $479,000 in it presently. The county pays interest on that money, so could save money there.

With the $20,000-$35,000 the county would save by refinancing its bonds at a lower interest rate, Byrom said the council could establish a rainy day account for the money it saves.

This way the county would not have to pay interest on the money in the reserve account, instead it would get interest on its rainy day fund.

The commission and the building authority took no action at this time.

Commission Chairman John Clarke said he thinks it will take him and the other commissioners about a month to research the matter fully.

Byrom said it will take them about six weeks to get the new bond issue rated and sold.

In other action, the commissioners:

• Approved a request from Verna Ferris, Ottawa County Election Board secretary, for $600 to enable her department to finish out the year and handle two elections coming up this year.

She said her department's funds ran short because they had to replace a copy machine.

Clarke reminded the other commissioners that they had said they would handle any additional cost if she used her capital and maintenance funds to help buy it.

Ferris said the census and elections have caused her and her staff to be busy this year. With the census the redistricting and change in precinct lines has created a big postage bill for her department. All of the voter identification cards that were redone had to be mailed out, she said. “We've spent $1,300 on postage so far.”

• Authorized staff to solicit competitive bids on behalf of Picher Fire Department for the lease or purchase of bunker gear.

• Ottawa County resident Jay Calan said one's politics and personalities shouldn't affect one's business. He asked that the commissioners not discourage residents from frequenting his place of business.