In what originated over a month ago through Young County Commissioner Matt Pruitt’s bid for a new backhoe for county precinct two, a finance rate bidding war has emerged between two companies vying for Young County’s business, First National Leasing and American National Leasing.

After Steward Cobb learned of Pruitt’s endeavor to sell his precinct’s old backhoe and purchase a new one in January, 2014, he appeared before the commissioner’s court stating that he had transferred from American National Leasing, the company that currently finances Young County’s transportation and equipment budget loan, to First National Leasing out of Wichita Falls.

Cobb said that First National was green-lighted to broker a deal with the county at a finance rate of 2.5 percent, undercutting American National’s current rate of over 3 percent. This took place at the Jan. 27 Young County Commissioners meeting.

At the next meeting, Feb. 10, Mike Cuba, current representative for American National, matched Cobb with an offer of 2.5 percent. Cobb, who could not attend, faxed a financing offer of 2.25 percent to the commissioners court the same day, further lowering the finance rate and raising the stakes in the bidding war.

The court then decided to table the agenda item until Cuba could return with a counter offer. At the Monday, Feb. 24 commissioners court meeting, both Cuba and Cobb were in attendance. Cuba again offered a lower finance rate from American National Leasing, this time at 2.2 percent annually. The rate battle has the potential to save the county over $38,000 over the life of the loans, which typically last either three or five years.

Read the entire story in Wednesday's Graham Leader.