KU refinancing bonds for Ghent plant

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By Sharon Graves


The News-Democrat

New and old revenue bonds were at the heart of the fiscal court meeting, Tuesday morning.

An attorney for Kentucky Utilities asked for the first reading of an ordinance authorizing the issue of environmental facilities revenue bonds not to exceed $77,947,405.

The six-page ordinance asks the court to refund or refinance four separate bonds for a total of $59,921,140 million. The bonds were used to finance all or a portion of costs of construction, acquisition, installation and equipping solid-waste disposal facilities of the Ghent generating station.

KU also requested a new bond for the remaining $18 million in additional funding. The proceeds from the sale of this bond would be used by the Ghent plant for the number one scrubber.

“I don’t see how borrowing $18 million isn’t going to affect our rates,” Magistrate Mark Bates said.

Harper explained the new bond and the refinancing of the four older bonds would create one bond, and would present no liability to the county.

Magistrate Dean Miller did not like language in the ordinance that states that the fiscal court has investigated the issuance of the bonds, “when we haven’t seen it until now,” Miller said.

Miller also expressed concern that the bonds issued for KU in the past are never going to be paid off, they are only being refinanced over and over again.  

County Attorney Jim Monk, in an attempt to clarify the matter for the court, said this expenditure is going to happen regardless of the court’s approval.

“The only question remaining is how high of a percentage rate and where they will get the money,” Monk said.

Harper assured the court that every time they have refinanced any bonds, it was to get a lower interest rate and hold costs down.

Harper pushed the court to have the non-binding first reading of the ordinance and said he would bring anyone they wanted to explain the details until all understood.  

Judge-Executive Harold “Shorty” Tomlinson reminding the court that a first reading was not binding. He moved to have the first reading. Tomlinson and Bates voted in favor of the first reading;  Miller cast the dissenting vote.

Budget amendments

The court had a first reading for two budget amendments increasing the receipts of the road fund in both cases.  The first amendment increased receipts by $4,027 from the Commonwealth of Kentucky for the underground storage tank cleanup fund. The second amendment was for $50,000 also from the Commonwealth of Kentucky from the 2008 and 09 emergency county road aid fund for a new bridge for the Notch Lick Road area.

House auction

The court will sell at auction a house located next to the county lot in Prestonville, Saturday, Aug. 30, at noon.  It will also be open for inspection Saturday morning from 10 a.m. until the auction.


A story in the Aug. 20 issue of The News-Democrat gave an incorrect figure for the price of an additional surveillance camera for the animal shelter. The cost price is  $1,055.