Caddo Commissioners will take on $6 million in bond debt to pay for renovation and other costs for the parish's public library system. However, it'll be at a very low interest rate. It's set at 1.22 percent. Standard and Poor's has given the parish an AAA rating. Grant Schuleter is the parish bond counselor. He says the parish's rating is due to 2 decades worth of fiscal responsibility and such a rating is the first for Louisiana.
"We have never in Louisiana had a public body that obtained the AAA rating," Schlueter said.
He says the AAA rating allows the parish to enjoy low interest rates on bonds, which means the parish spends less tax revenue on debt.
"If you obtain a mortgage loan or a car loan, the lower the interest rate the lower the payments are and the more money you have leftover for other purposes," Schlueter said.
That is, if the parish continues handling its finances well. Schlueter says continuing fiscal responsibility should still be a top priority for commissioners. Schuleter says only about 7 percent of government bodies in the entire nation have an AAA rating. He and state officials hope to use Caddo Parish as an example for the rest of Louisiana.