Sandoval County Rob Burpo speaks to county commissioners Thursday at the commission meeting. Matt Hollinshead photo.

BERNALILLO — The Sandoval County Commission voted to move toward borrowing money to finish construction of a new public safety building, build a county animal shelter and pay for road equipment and sheriff’s office vehicles.
At their meeting Thursday at the county administration building, commissioners unanimously approved a resolution declaring their intent to consider a Century Bank loan, which would be repaid through gross receipts tax revenue.
The $4 million, 10-year building loan would be used to cover cost overruns on the public safety building and to launch the construction on the new animal shelter. The $2.75 million, four-year equipment loan would be used to pay for road equipment and sheriff’s office vehicles.
County financial advisor Rob Burpo said during Thursday’s commission meeting there’s no tax increase involved, just different uses of existing revenue.
Burpo, president of First American Financial Advisors, told the Observer he looked at bonds repaid by federal payment in lieu of taxes (PILT), but the terms and conditions using PILT money weren’t as favorable as with the Century Bank loan involving gross receipts taxes.
He also said borrowing based on PILT would require approval from the New Mexico Finance Authority, which wasn’t particularly excited about working on the animal shelter.
“They have a set way of doing things,” Burpo told the Observer. “That’s the situation on this one.”
He told the commission the last equipment loan the county used came in 2012.
“Now we’ve got five or six big pieces of equipment that really have to be paid for, and the budget doesn’t provide for the cash to just be cash,” Burpo said.
He also said paying the GRT loans off early would have no penalties, and the county can reallocate the borrowed money for other 10-year projects if commissioners end up using another funding source for the building construction and equipment.
The money allocation would be:
• Roughly $1.82 million for public safety building cost overruns;
• $2.15 million for the animal shelter;
• About $2.38 million for road equipment;
• $320,000 for sheriff’s vehicles; and
• Total issuance costs of about $78,600 between the loans.

Matt Hollinshead | Staff writer