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Wisconsin County Issues $146 Mln in Bonds

By Munichain News Desk

Dane County, Wisconsin, sold $146.3 million in bonds to make improvements to its corrections facilities.

The bonds mature between 2024 and 2043, yielding between 2.98% and 4.27%. They received a rating of AAA from S&P Global Ratings.

“The rating reflects our opinion of the county’s resilient and growing economy due to the state capital’s and the University of Wisconsin’s anchoring presence, and very strong reserves supported by consistent healthy operating performance in the past few years,” S&P analyst Ying Huang said in a press release. 

The bonds will finance Dane County’s efforts to consolidate numerous jails into one correctional facility. They will also refund a previous issuance.

Bids for the jail consolidation project opened today and are due in mid-November. The project, which is expected to cost around $180 million, would see the addition of a six story building to the Dane County Public Safety Building. The county anticipates construction to break ground early next year.

The project is the result of compromise between the County Board of Supervisors and the Sheriff, who debated the plan for years. Members of the Board of Supervisors’ Black Caucus had long pushed for a smaller facility and other jail reforms to reduce racial disparities in the inmate population. In exchange for the caucus’ support on the jail consolidation project, County Sheriff Kalvin Barrett agreed to remove some federal inmates from the jail.

Dane County is the second-most populous in Wisconsin and includes the state capital of Madison. It is also home to the University of Wisconsin’s flagship campus. The bonds are general obligations of the county, backed by its full faith and credit.

Piper Sandler & Co served as underwriter on the issuance, purchasing the bonds for more than $154 million. The price reflected a premium of $8 million.

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