MOULTRIE, Ga. — Colquitt County is out of debt.
The county Board of Commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday night to pay $771,869.26, the last installment on a loan the county took out in 2015 to fund facilities improvements.
Commissioners seemed elated at getting out from under the debt. They voted more than a year ago to increase the quarterly payments to pay off the loan early.
“Can we hand-walk the check over there tonight?” Commissioner Paul Nagy asked after the vote.
County Administrator Chas Cannon promised the payment would be made today.
The original loan was for $6.5 million, Cannon said in an interview earlier on Tuesday. It was to fund a variety of work at county buildings to improve energy efficiency.
“All to reduce the long-term cost,” he said, and he said the work was successful in doing that.
The project proposed in 2015 included 22 buildings. Many of the buildings had their HVAC systems replaced. Lights were changed to energy-efficient LED versions. Timers were installed to shut off lights and air conditioning at times the buildings weren’t used.
Solar panels were installed at the courthouse annex, the county jail and the county prison, which are the county government’s three largest users of electricity, Cannon said. Generators have been installed at the E911 center and the jail to provide reliable emergency power.
Cannon said all the work listed in the facilities plan was completed as of 2018.