The proposal to issue the jail bond before the actual costs are determined goes against not only standard practice in the issuance of municipal bonds, but also flies in the face of rationality.

At present, any real alternatives to the currently proposed jail  — not only in terms of the size, design, location, and operating costs (i.e., energy costs/savings based on facility design), but alternatives to incarceration — have not been explored, so we do not know what the real cost would be.

Borrowing more than is actually needed would significantly add to the total cost of the bond, especially as there is a set time, usually not less than 10 years, during which the excess amount cannot be called (paid back). And the excess money could not be used for anything else; it would simply be an ongoing drain on the county’s finances, and hence an increased burden to taxpayers.

Adding a few months to the time line for issuance until these factors have been fully explored might well significantly lower the current proposed cost, so even if interest rates were to rise slightly, the net gain could be well worth the delay.

Also, the county’s residents would feel as if their concerns had been duly considered.  I understand that may not be possible to hold a legally binding referendum on the proposed bond issue, but there is nothing to prevent the County from conducting a non-binding poll.