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Limestone County looking to borrow money to keep from depleting savings

LIMESTONE COUNTY, Ala. - The money's there, but the reserves would be low. That's according to Limestone County Commissiong Chairman Mark Yarbrough. He says his goal is to keep a sable financial balance while finishing the last of several major projects.

"We pulled so much money out of reserves to pay for those, our reserve balance has dwindled down," says Yarbrough. "We went from $12 million in reserves in 201 to $5 million by the time I took office."

The courthouse renovations, along with the judicial center and jail expansion projects were started by the last commission, with a cost of $13.1 million. However, Yarbrough says the commission only borrowed $8 million, so he wants to borrow $1.6 million. He stresses that the county could absorb the costs, but it would leave reserves at levels lower than he, or the county financial director, would like.

"The money's there to finish the courthouse project," says Yarbrough. "But, it was pulled from reserves. This is to replenish our reserves."

Yarbrough says, to his knowledge, Commissioner Ben Harrison is the only person undecided on the issue. This, he says, is ironic "because Ben Harrison's the one who voted for $13.1 million worth of capital improvement but only borrowed 8 million dollars to do it." He calls this more of an insurance policy than anything. "If we had another tornado, god forbid, another tornado, for instance, we`d have to have money on hand."

Limestone County Commissioners are set to vote on the bond at their meeting on Tuesday.