Minnesota delays bond sale amid financial crisisby Jessica Mador, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — Finance officials have announced they are delaying selling bonds to fund the expansion of the state's 911 communications system until financial markets stabilize.
The state was planning to sell $42 million in bonds on Tuesday.
But the major investment houses that normally bid on Minnesota bonds have either gone out of business or no longer deal in municipal bonds.
Officials say the plan to expand the 911 network outside the metro area and statewide is still on track. But they say for now they will rely on other funding. Part of the funding will come from a fee paid by telephone customers.
Kathy Kardell is assistant commissioner of Finance for the state. She says the municipal bond market is slow because of the country's credit crisis.
"It has everything to do with the firms, in this case the financial institutions that normally purchase those bonds and then resell them to investors, and when you have so much financial uncertainty on the part of those firms, it leads them to be unwilling to commit capital," said Kardell.
Kardell says the state expects to sell the bonds to fund the 911 system sometime later this year. She says the value of the bonds has not been affected, and the state's credit rating is excellent.