Rogers school of­fi­cials happy with bond sale rate

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - NORTHWEST ARKANSAS - DAVE PEROZEK

ROGERS — School Dis­trict of­fi­cials se­cured a bet­ter in­ter­est rate than ex­pected on bonds sold for con­struc­tion of the next el­e­men­tary school.

Robert W. Baird and Co., a fi­nan­cial ser­vices firm based in Mil­wau­kee, Wis., sub­mit­ted the low­est rate of 3.16 per­cent among five firms that bid, ac­cord­ing to Jake Haak, the dis­trict’s chief fi­nan­cial of­fi­cer. The School Board ac­cepted the bid at its meet­ing Tues­day.

The dis­trict had been ex­pect­ing bids to fall some­where in the 4 per­cent range be­fore bids were re­vealed June 27, Haak said.

“Look­ing at the mar­ket two weeks be­fore and two weeks af­ter, we re­ally hit at the right time to get the low­est bid that was out there. So we feel very pos­i­tive about that,” he said.

The lower-than-ex­pected rate al­lows the dis­trict to save some money for other cap­i­tal projects, Haak said.

The bond sales are ex­pected to raise $17.9 mil­lion for an el­e­men­tary school sched­uled to open in Au­gust 2019 on the south­ern por­tion of 80 acres the dis­trict owns at West Garrett and South Bel­lview roads.

Vot­ers ap­proved a 3.5-mill tax in­crease in May, which dis­trict of­fi­cials said would be used to pay for con­struc­tion of the 16th and 17th el­e­men­tary schools and im­prove­ments at other schools. A time­line for con­struc­tion of the 17th

el­e­men­tary school hasn’t been de­ter­mined.

In other fi­nan­cial news, Robert W. Baird and Co. also sub­mit­ted the low bid of 2.87 per­cent for re­fi­nanc­ing debt from 2011 and 2012 se­ries bonds. The board ap­proved that bid as well.

Re­fi­nanc­ing those bonds al­lows the dis­trict to achieve nearly $2.4 mil­lion in sav­ings, which will be placed in the build­ing fund for fu­ture

use as needed and ap­proved by the board.

A fac­tor in the low rate is the dis­trict’s ex­cel­lent fi­nan­cial po­si­tion, Haak said. In­vestors con­sider debt ser­vice ra­tio, or the as­sessed value of the dis­trict com­pared to its over­all in­debt­ed­ness.

“One thing I think we can be proud of is our debt ser­vice ra­tio is the low­est in Ben­ton and Wash­ing­ton coun­ties,” Haak said.

In per­son­nel moves, the board ap­proved hir­ing Cindy Rice as one of four as­sis­tant prin­ci­pals at Her­itage High School. Rice had been an aca­demic fa­cil­i­ta­tor at the school. She re­places Keith Kilgore, who was cho­sen in May to be the dis­trict’s ath­letic di­rec­tor.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.