Board of Education Approves Refinancing Plan

The USD 475 Board of Education approved a proposed refinancing plan to reduce interest rates on outstanding debt related to the new high school.

Mr. Dustin Avey, Managing Director of Piper Sandler, updated the board on current market conditions and its relation to the USD 475 financial plan. Based on current conditions, the District can achieve an overall estimated savings of $9 million on its outstanding Series 2017-A and 2017-C Bonds.

Avey noted that; “Industry guidelines evaluate refinancing based on present value savings calculations with minimum standards of 3-4%. This plan, assuming conditions remain consistent through securing interest rates, realizes a present value savings percentage of 11.73% on Series 2017-A Bonds and 7.57% on Series 2017-C.”

During a recent working meeting, the board deliberated whether or not it should continue to wait for improving conditions but was advised by staff that two financial sources indicate that this is likely the time to act. David Wild, Chief Operations Officer, stated that market indicators are pointing to rising rates in the future and advocated for timely action by the board.

Wild added that Mrs. Marilee Fredricks, USD 475 Chief Financial Officer, said it well; “Any time the district can take action to reduce bond debt costs, it is a fiscal priority and supports the district core value of being fiscally responsible.”

The board approval requires that staff move forward with the refinancing plan with an understanding that the initiative stops if market conditions shift enough to erase intended goals. The potential impact of this decision may allow the District to cut the average interest rate on Series 2017-A bonds by half and Series 2017-C bonds by more than 40 percent. The refinancing strategy places the District in a position for early bond payoff or mil levy reductions in the future.

“The action taken by the board demonstrates good stewardship and further strengthens the District fiscal position,” Wild concluded.