School, Fire, and Library Districts Partner with State Treasurer for Local Projects

Local Government

OLYMPIA – This week, millions in low-interest financing was made available for projects across Washington with the help of the Office of the State Treasurer (OST). The $42 million sale of Certificates of Participation (COPs) provides an affordable option to local municipalities and state agencies (including colleges and universities), to finance projects, acquire fleet, fire, and medical emergency response vehicles, and other essential equipment.

Three times a year OST pools financing requests from state agencies and local governments into the competitively sold COPs. This allows state agencies, as well as local partners in OST’s Local Option Capital Asset Lending Program (LOCAL Program) to acquire equipment and real estate under the umbrella of the state’s credit. This process leverages Washington’s strong ratings to help local governments secure financing at the lowest possible interest rates – ultimately reducing costs and saving taxpayer dollars.  

“The partnerships created through the LOCAL program exemplifies the value created in government-to-government collaboration,” said Washington State Treasurer Mike Pellicciotti. “When we come together, not only are we able to reduce costs by leveraging our state’s exceptional credit standing, but we’re able to efficiently and effectively deploy resources that can be the difference to make needed local projects a reality.”

Participants in this week’s COPs sale included public colleges, two state agencies, and several local municipalities, including four fire districts, three school districts, and two cities.

The North Olympic Library System (NOLS), which provides public library services to all of Clallam County, is one district partnering in this week’s sale as a LOCAL Program participant to finance $4.49 million for an expansion and remodel of the Sequim Branch Library. This will be NOLS’ first time partnering with OST to obtain low-interest financing.

“The new library will not only include critical infrastructure improvements, it will become an accessible, flexible and sustainable community hub that will be used for decades to come. The Library is fortunate that partnering with the Treasurer’s Office on financing will help keep project costs as low as possible,” said North Olympic Library System Executive Director Noah Glaude.

In addition to NOLS, this week’s sale of COPs also financed many other purchases, including three emergency response vehicles and the construction of a new fire training facility. San Juan County Fire Protection District 2 financed a new ambulance, Kittitas County Fire Protection District 6 and Okanogan County Fire Protection District 6 each financed new fire trucks, and Pacific County Fire Protection District 1 financed the construction of a fire training facility for its professional and volunteer firefighters.

Before this week, the COP program helped local municipalities and state agencies finance $73,465,000 in property and equipment at the lowest possible cost for participants in Fiscal Year 2024. OST is developing plans to hold its third COP issuance of the year in the Fall.