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Baltimore County Council approves refinancing $3 billion in bonds

The Baltimore County Council voted unanimously Monday evening to refinance up to $3 billion in bonds collected between 2009 and 2020 and issue $365 million in bond anticipation notes to pay for capital projects.

The county collected almost $2.4 billion in bonds between 2009 and 2020, and aims to save interest by reissuing that debt at a later date.

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There is no deadline for when the county must refinance, so it’s not clear how much interest the move will save. The county this year saved $9.4 million in interest when it refinanced $54.1 million in bonds, according to the bill’s fiscal note.

Of the $365 million requested in new bond anticipation notes — short-term notes that are sold before long-term bonds are sold at a later date — $135 million will go to school improvements; $40 million for construction on roads, bridges, sidewalks and storm drains; $20 million to government building improvements; $18 million to Community College of Baltimore County capital projects; $10 million for waterway improvements; $5 million each for trash disposal, agricultural land preservation, and parks and preservation projects; and $2 million toward community and economic improvements, according to the fiscal note.

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The leftover $125 million, once issued, will go toward water and sewer projects.

The council also unanimously approved a bill proposed by County Councilman Julian Jones that requires the county attorney to provide the council with an annual report by Dec. 31 each year detailing litigation settlements into which the county has entered during the previous 12 months, including a summary of the case, the dollar amount demanded and what was paid by the county, effective this year.

Under current law, the county attorney must only provide the council with a report that summarizes all significant ongoing litigation against the county.

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