Board moves ahead on bonds, bleachers
The USD 204 Board of Education Monday took the next step in two projects that have recently been under discussion.
The board approved a resolution to go to market and an engagement letter to refinance some bonds from 2005, hoping to save more than $1 million. It also awarded a bid for new bleachers at the football stadium at a cost of $309,989.
Before approving the next step in bond refinancing, David Atteberry, bond council for the district, told the board that interest rates had dropped slightly since he first spoke to them on the issue, but were on their way back up. He said the projected savings were now a little more than $1 million over the life of the bonds, whereas previously it had been about $972,000.
About $8,555,000 in bonds were identified for refinancing. The bonds are part of the 2005 bond issuance and mature between 2020 and 2025. The average rate on those bonds is about 4.83 percent, and by refinancing those bonds, the rate is about 2.3 percent.
Atteberry said they wouldn’t know the final rate until they enter the market for the refinancing. So, he suggested that the board set a minimum acceptable level of savings.
If rates remain the same, the district would be saving about 10.3 percent of the bonds’ value. The board agreed it would only move forward with the refinancing if it attained 7 percent savings.
The final step for the refinancing should take place at the board’s April 16 meeting, Atteberry said.
The bleacher bid was unanimously awarded to Hanson Sports of Eudora.
When discussing the bleachers, Ray Cox, board president, said he thought the winning bidder would provide a “superior bleacher” worth spending funds from the capital outlay fund.
“This is a big move. It’s important, I think, to the community and the safety of our people,” Cox said.
The old bleachers will be razed following the last home track meet in April.
In other business, the board:
• Heard a report from Leticia Porter, director of elementary instruction, about future staff development.
• Held a public hearing for and approved the amended 2011-2012 budget.
• Approved warrants totaling $119,118.
• Held a 20-minute executive session for negotiations.
• Heard a request from a BSHS student for upgrades to the softball fields.
• Heard from Ken Clark about how the district will save funds with its new phone services contract.