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Franklin County repaid for investment in Wenatchee arena

Franklin County taxpayers aren't out $300,000, as was earlier feared.

The county already has received the principal it invested in the defaulted bonds for the Greater Wenatchee Regional Town Toyota Arena.

The $300,000 the county invested in the bond anticipation notes was transferred into the county's bank account Dec. 1, said County Commissioner Rick Miller.

"Taxpayers aren't losing $300,000," he said Friday.

The county also has received all $39,000 in interest earned on the bonds since 2009, he said.

The Greater Wenatchee Regional Events Center Public Facilities District defaulted last week on its debt, which is tied to the 2008 construction of the Town Toyota Center in Wenatchee.

The default on the $42 million meant that the money of almost 400 investors was at risk.

The Wenatchee World reported Thursday that some investors were paid back. However, the attorney for the Greater Wenatchee Regional Events Center Public Facilities District wasn't sure why those investors were repaid.

In addition to Franklin County, The Wenatchee World reported that Central Washington University received its $1.6 million investment including interest, and Douglas County received $200,000 plus interest.

Miller said he believes Franklin County is in good shape because the money owed it has been deposited.

Had the money been lost, it would have pinched an already tight budget. The county's $23.5 million operating budget for 2012 was approved unanimously Wednesday.

That budget is similar to what commissioners passed for 2011, Miller said.

Two clerks were added to the county clerk's office to help with debt collection. Clerk Michael Killian told commissioners last month that the additional amount collected by the clerks should pay for their positions.

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