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County to save $160K, become debt-free

Cumberland Securities Senior Vice President Scott Gibson presents his findings to the Johnson County Commissioners. Photo by Meg Dickens

By Meg Dickens
Freelance Writer

Debt is commonplace among many. The United States itself is in debt for more than $27 trillion. Johnson County, however, may be on its way out of the metaphorical hole. A new deal approved by the Johnson County government will reportedly lead to a debt-free county for the first time in a very long time.
The county partnered with Cumberland Securities to find the solution. Senior Vice President Scott Gibson explained the necessary steps during the most recent county commission meeting. Through his company, Johnson County was able to find a lower interest loan solution that Director of Accounts and Budgets Russell Robinson reports will save the county $160,000 in the long run.
To make this happen, Johnson County will be taking out a $6.8 million loan through Regions Financial Corporation. Cumberland Securities searched out banks that could provide the needed service at the lowest possible cost to the county. Switching to a loan through Regions will reportedly result in loan interest rates dropping from 2.3 percent to 1.23 percent. Robinson estimates that the county can pay off the loan within seven to eight payments.
When asked why no local banks bid on the loan, Gibson assured the county commissioners that this fell within the norm. Loans of this caliber are traditionally too large for “small, local banks” to handle. Larger banks have more money to use for these types of deals.
The county officially approved Gibson’s proposal. The process was set to start on Friday, October 22. Officials believe this move will lead to a debt-free Johnson County by the year 2028. This will reportedly lead to options that the county “hasn’t had in a while.”
Johnson County will be joining an elite group of 15 other counties in Tennessee that have climbed out of debt. According to budget reports from June 2021, this is
largely thanks to an increase in local option sales tax collection, which reportedly brought it $100,000 more in April than the previous year’s total.
“The county will be reaching a milestone,” Robinson explained when presenting the budget and future forecast for the area.
For more information about the Johnson County Commission, visit the county website, johnsoncountytn.gov. Keep up with the latest in local government with The Tomahawk.