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Commissioners mull $2.6 million in bonds for broadband project

WORTHINGTON -- The Nobles County Board of Commissioners held a work session Wednesday morning to discuss projects and issues with wide-ranging implications on the county.

WORTHINGTON - The Nobles County Board of Commissioners held a work session Wednesday morning to discuss projects and issues with wide-ranging implications on the county.

Broadband project Public finance firm Northland Securities met with Nobles County commissioners to discuss tax abatement bonds for Lismore Cooperative Telephone’s broadband project.

The co-op’s project to bring broadband to underserved and unserved portions of the county is partially funded by a $2.94 million grant from the Department of Employment and Economic Development. However, the co-op needs more money to complete the project.

 

As the project would provide a benefit for a large number of parcels in Nobles County, it’s eligible for a tax abatement bond. Northland Securities has proposed a $2.56 million in tax abatement bonds to fund the project. With that plan, when affected property owners pay the abated taxes, the money is used to pay the bonds.

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The co-op has also asked for $1 million in cash from the county.

 

Whether commissioners vote to authorize the cash or the tax abatement remains to be seen. Compared to taking out a loan from a bank, the interest rate on a tax abatement bonds would be much lower - at around 3 percent, compared to 5 or 6 percent.

 

For more coverage of the county board's work session, see Saturday's print edition or dglobe.com.

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