Benton County Treasurer Duane Davidson believes he can make more money for the county and special districts this year if public agencies agree to pool their funds.
Rather than having two dozen public agencies with individual investments, Davidson said they can command more interest and find better investment opportunities if the county, school, fire and irrigation districts go to the market as a single investor.
Commissioners this week agreed with Davidson and voted to create a treasurer investment pool that would allow about 20 public entities to combine their investment money into a single money pot.
Having each school district, fire district and irrigation district have its own investment is not as profitable as them combining resources, Davidson explained.
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Pooling the investment dollars broadens the investment options simply because more doors are opened when more is money involved, he said.
"We are currently limited by state law in holding individual investments," Davidson said. His office oversees the individual entities' investments now. Having them pool their money will lead to better purchasing and higher interest rates, he said.
With more money to invest, Davidson said he can look at investing into certain kinds of bonds that are not available for smaller amounts.
"I will begin asking entities in Benton County immediately if they want to join a pool," Davidson said, noting he expects to have the pool complete within a couple of months.
The pool could represent from $175 million to $200 million, which would be enough to attract more secure investment opportunities with higher returns, Davidson said.