Presiding Commissioner Scott Fricker defended the Commission’s forecast of revenue a half-cent sales tax would bring in over 20 years if approved by voters August 6, while financial advisor Gordon Cook countered  that the expenses had been blown up and that if the projected inmate county was 480 within 25 years, the jail actually needed more beds than are planned.
In the middle, literally, was Sheriff Mark Owen who made the case for a new jail addition to improve safety for both staff and inmates, reduce crowding, and avoid having to house inmates in other jails and the resulting travel expenses.
Comm. Fricker suggested that Mr. Cook’s figures were not accurate and said that was the same as his figures for the Law Enforcement Tax passed in 2011.
“Two years in and we’re already underwater, so we threw out his pro forma,” Comm. Fricker said. “That’s why he wasn’t asked to work on this one.”
“You keep calling these my figures,” Mr. Cook replied. “It was their (Commission and Sheriff’s Department) data, their numbers and their projections.”
In discussions about the county’s bond rating, Comm. Fricker said that the county has no debt, massive assessed valuation, and will have the money to pay off bonds for the new jail. “They know we’ll pay off the bond. Junk status is not right.”
However, Platte County could pay interest as high as 7.5 percent interest. 
“What is the Commission doing to restore it’s rating,” asked Auditor Kevin Robinson? 
Commissioner Fricker said they were recently told by former Commissioner Michael Short they might get a 6.5 percent rate, and they are looking at the possibility of a 4.5 percent loan from USDA.
Mr. Cook said if the county still had a AA rating, the interest could be about 3.88 percent.
Mr. Cook then asked what the Commissioners were doing to improve the County’s Bond Rating. After Comm. Fricker talked about the need for the jail, Mr. Cook asked two more times if the Commissioners had talked with anyone at the rating companies about what they needed to do to improve their bond rating.
“This is an educational process,” Comm. Fricker said. “The rating agencies will see what we have. Those are not concerns.”
“I think it’s one of the most significant parts of this entire project,” Mr. Cook replied.

Check out a few of the stories in this week's Weston Chronicle!


The Weston Chronicle

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Lawrence "Woody" Woodring

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Presiding Commissioner Scott Fricker, Sheriff Mark Owen and Gordon Cook debated the coming vote on a Jail Bond and Tax Issue August 6. Marcus Flores, Executive Director of the Parkville Living Center (and Weston Senior Collaborative), moderated the discussion.

Celebration of Life for former Superintendent Kyle Stephenson

​​Weston • Platte County • Missouri

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​Commissioners Defend Jail Bond, Tax​

Bluff Trail Upgrades on Tap

Aldermen Discuss Renter Registry