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'Little bit of luck' saves Suffolk $6.3M

Democrat, Suffolk County Comptroller, Joseph Sawicki, in Islandia,

Democrat, Suffolk County Comptroller, Joseph Sawicki, in Islandia, NY, May 25, 2006. Photo Credit: Gordon M. Grant

Suffolk County has refinanced $91 million in bonds, which will save the county $6.3 million — including $2.5 million next year to ease anticipated budget shortfalls.

Comptroller Joseph Sawicki, above, said the savings are 50 percent higher than the $4.2 million originally estimated. He said positive economic developments in Europe, lower national unemployment figures and a lack of competition from other municipal deals when the bonds were sold last week helped spur the better than expected results.

“We had a little bit of luck,” Sawicki said. “We went into the market when it was moving in the right direction and at the right time for us.”

Despite a recent negative outlook on county bonds from Fitch Ratings, Sawicki said, “Suffolk continues to be a solid investment.”

Comptroller aides said that the refinancing involved 20-year bonds sold from 2001 to 2004, which carried interest rates largely between 4 and 5 percent. The new bonds, which will be paid off in 11 years, sold mainly under 3 percent. Christina Capobianco, chief deputy comptroller, said the net savings include the expense of issuing the bonds, which cost about $500,000.
 

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