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Commission considers school bond refinancing

Refinancing the 2004 series of general obligation school bonds could save the county $700,000 in interest over the next four years, but commissioners will have to act quickly.
“Our exposure is to interest rate uncertainty,” Mayor Dan Eldridge said. “No one can predict what the new year will bring.”
During their Nov. 13 meeting, Budget Committee members reviewed an analysis of the projected savings from refinancing almost $8 million of bonds from the current 5 percent interest rate to a rate of approximately 1.4 percent. These savings could be realized without extending the payoff date of April 1, 2018.
In order to take advantage of the lower interest rate, the proposed refunding plan has the county accepting bids by Monday, Dec. 16, which would require approval by the commission during next week’s meeting.
After hopefully closing the sale in January, the proceeds would be kept in a short-term escrow to avoid the penalty of paying off the balance prior to the call date of April 1, 2014.
Commissioner Pete Speropulos made a motion to recommend the refunding plan to the full commission at its Nov. 25 meeting. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Joe Grandy and passed with unanimous approval.