Brown County Commissioners gave unanimous approval Monday to a refinancing plan for the 1999 bond issue for the Brown County Law Enforcement Center that will show a $460,000 savings over the next 13 years.

Vince Viaille, senior vice president of First Southwest Co., had suggested the plan for a possible savings of $361,000 at the Oct. 1 court meeting.

“What we’re doing,” Viaille told commissioners then, “is refinancing the 1999 bond issue at a lower interest rate.”

But in the month since the Oct. 1 meeting, and Monday, Viaille said, First Southwest had found even lower interest rates than expected. The $460,000 savings will come to approximately $35,000 debt service savings a year.

The terms of the refinance will be the same as the original terms for the 1999 issues. In 1999, the annual interest rate was 5.5 percent. With the refinance, the annual interest rate is 3.8 percent.

“It’s the same terms, all identical features,” Viaille said, “and all expenses are figured in.”

Commissioners also on Monday awarded Big Country Ford bids for three new vehicles for the sheriff’s office. The vehicles include two Ford Crown Victoria Police Inceptors and one half-ton, four-door two-wheel drive pickup of any make. Only Big Country Ford bid on all three. Bruner Auto Group bid on the pickup, but its offer was $2,000 more than the pickup bid from Big Country Ford.

The budget included $66,000 for the vehicles, and the low bids came in at $19,668 (net after trade in) for each of the sedans and $21,996 (net after trade in) for the pickup.

The sheriff’s office also got approval for the purchase of five gas masks for $1,100 total cost.

District Clerk Jan Brown got approval to hire Nita Richardson as a new employee in the clerk’s office. Richardson will be the first new county employee to be hired at the $18,000 annual base pay, which commissioners voted to raise from $15,500 in October.

Other items presented before the court included:

Signing a proclamation for the Support the Troops days (and wear red on Fridays) presented by Redstone Park residents; Approval of a resolution proclaiming Nov. 19, as Adoption Day in Brown County; Approval of the plat for the 370-acre Turner Ranch Estate subdivision which will include 30 Lake Brownwood waterfront lots, all of which will be 1/2 to one acre in size and have onsite septic systems.