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County makes $1.45M investment

Comanche County will make approximately $76,000 by paying off someone else’s debt. The amount will be collected in interest over the next three years after the Comanche County Board of Commissioners and Treasurer Barbara Burk agreed to pay a $1.45 million lawsuit settlement for Lawton Public Schools.

Comanche County currently has $2.6 million in home finance funds. Home finance accounts were created by U.S. Congress to assist low to moderate income families with home mortgages; however the money available is rarely used due to current interest rates.

Comanche County’s home finance money is currently invested in Certificates of Deposit (CDs) through several different banks. The current average return on those investments is approximately 0.75 percent, or about $19,500 per year. The County will cash out just over half the total amount in CDs with no penalty in order to pay the settlement. The $1.45 million investment will be paid back over a three year period, including interest (5.25 percent for 2011), which will earn $25,375 in interest for 2011.

The lawsuit settlement amount will become a levy against taxes collected for Lawton Public Schools. Comanche County will receive an annual payment, including interest, from those taxes for the three year period.

“It‘s our job to be good stewards of the taxpayers’ money. This was a great opportunity to drastically increase the return on some of our invested money,” said Ron Kirby, county commissioner.

“I’m glad we have the money available to take advantage of a great investment opportunity like this,” added Barbara Burk, county treasurer.