homepage logo

Outstanding Governmental Debt Considered Normal

By Staff | Jan 3, 2008

Outstanding debt obligations for local government entities in Palo Alto County for fiscal year 2007, which ended June 30, 2007, totaled nearly $10.3 million, according to figures released recently by Iowa State Treasurer Michael Fitzgerald. “This is a typical increase,” Fitzgerald stated. “Over the past few years, the debt has increased about 4% each year. This is a modest increase in the debt for the state.”

All political subdivisions, instrumentalities, and agencies of the state disclosed this information in their 2007 Outstanding Obligations Reports.

“A majority of debt is issued to finance public building or schools, while much is issued for utilities or sewers. Although debt did increase in the last year, a large portion of the existing debt has been used to either build new schools or fix up the aging infrastructure,” according to Fitzgerald.

The two largest classifications for outstanding debt are general obligations and revenue obligations. The first is General obligations, which are generally repaid through property tax levies and general revenues. The second is Revenue obligations, which are repaid from money generated by a specific facility or project.

In Palo Alto County, four communities have no public debt obligations. Ayrshire, Cylinder, Curlew and Rodman reported no obligations outstanding, while the city of Emmetsburg reported outstanding debt of $5.8 million. Overall, the communities in Palo Alto County reported outstanding debt totaling $10,395,352.

Palo Alto County, as a governmental entity, reported outstanding debt obligations totaling $2,095,491.27 for fiscal year 2007. An independant agency, the Graettinger Municipal Light Plant, reported outstanding obligations totaling $220,000 for fiscal year 2007.

Of the four school districts located in the county, the Emmetsburg Community School District listed outstanding debt of $7,425,000, while the West Bend-Mallard, Graettinger and Ruthven-Ayrshire school districts reported no outstanding debt in the period. Prairie Lakes Area Education Agency Eight, which serves the Palo Alto County school districts, reported outstanding debt of $2,640,000 for fiscal year 2007. Iowa Lakes Community College reported outstanding debt totaling $9,600,000 for the 2006-2007 fiscal year.

The report is available in its entirety on the Treasurer’s website at


2007 Outstanding Obligations Report

Summary of Outstanding Debt

Palo Alto County

As of June 30, 2007


Ayrshire $0.00

Curlew $0.00

Cylinder $0.00

Rodman $0.00

Emmetsburg $5,810,000.00

Graettinger $866,000.00

Mallard $95,000.00

Ruthven $1,002,352.00

West Bend $2,622,000.00

Total for Cities $10,395,352.00


Palo Alto County $2,095,491.27

Total for County $2,095,491.27


Graettinger Light Plant $220,000.00

Total for Others $220,000.00


AEA 8 Prairie Lakes $2,640,000.00

Iowa Lakes CCollege $9,600.000.00

Emmetsburg CSD $7,425,000.00

Graettinger CSD $0.00

Ruthven – Ayrshire CSD $0.00

West Bend – Mallard CSD $0.00

Total Schools/AEA’s $19,665,000.00

Total for County $32,375,843.27

State of Iowa Debt as of June 30, 2007

Total for all State Agencies $283,617,382.00

Total for State Authorities$2,009,247,030.00

Total State Debt $10,048,407,952.20