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Pierce County starts to use Stimulus Act bonds

Pierce County government will first look to its own building and equipment needs to determine if it wants to use any of its $1.7 million Stimulus Act bond allocation.

The Recovery Zone Economic Development Bonds, which are attractive because the federal government will pay 45 percent of interest costs, can be used either by the county or passed on to its municipalities.

In January 2008, Pierce County borrowed nearly $4 million to tackle a list of over 40 building and equipment projects. When estimates came in, the county was able to afford only a few of the projects, including mobile radios for the sheriff's department, a Nugget Lake breach warning system, heating and air conditioning systems for the courthouse and county office building, a new courthouse elevator, emergency generators for the courthouse and office building, new grandstands at the fairgrounds and renovations of the "blue storage building."

Payments on the 2008 borrowing amount to about $450,000 a year and will continue through 2016.

County Board Chairman Paul Barkla said the county still has several projects needing attention, including the courthouse roof, replacement of windows on the courthouse and office building, and restroom renovations.

For more please read the Dec. 23 print version of the Herald.