May 17, 2012

SCR-I District to Save $91,680 Through Refinancing

At a regular meeting of the Scotland County R-I School District Board of Education on April 12, 2012, a resolution to establish a final terms committee was approved to proceed with the refinancing of the outstanding Series 2007A Lease Certificates of Participation. Subsequently, on April 26, 2012, the Final Terms Committee authorized the sale of $1,000,000 Lease Refunding Certificates of Participation at an average interest rate of 2.45 %, compared to the Series 2007A Certificates which carry an average interest rate of 4.46 %.

All of the refunding certificates were bought by the Bank of Kirksville as the final investor to support the District. The Series 2007A Certificates, along with the Series 2007B Certificates, were issued to fund energy conservation and efficiency improvements through a Guaranteed Performance Contract. With this refunding, the District reduces the future interest expense by $91,680. This $91,680, plus the savings of $155,250 from the zero interest USDA Rural Economic Development Loan used to refinance the Series 2007B Certificates, means that the District has saved a total of $246,930 from the original 2007 project.

The Superintendent of Schools, David A. Shalley, expressed enthusiasm and support for the refunding option selected by the Board of Education.

"This plan produces about $9,000 per year of savings over the next ten years, which is money that can be applied to our overall education program. We are also preserving considerable flexibility for the District in the future," Shalley remarked.

The Board President, George Koontz, pointed out that the $91,680 of interest savings for the Series 2012 refunding is not all the District may realize due to the Series 2012 Refunding Certificates having a call feature in 2016 at no penalty.

"If interest rates are lower in 2016 or later, we can take advantage of that. Meanwhile, we are locking in these levels that are about two percent (2.00 %) lower than they were in 2007," stated Koontz.

L. J. Hart & Company of St. Louis, Missouri, prepared the refunding proposal and explained how it can fit into the long range plans of the District. The two significant factors making the Series 2012 refunding possible were the lower interest rates than in 2007, and the fact that the Series 2007A Certificates are currently subject to prepayment at no penalty. L.J. Hart & Company complimented Shalley for his prompt and thorough preparations to supply the data necessary for the official statement, as well as his strong advocacy for the District during the rating conference call with Standard & Poor's Corporation (S&P). As a result, the Series 2012 Certificates carry an "A-" rating from S&P and the District has an "A" issuer credit rating based on evaluation of its overall credit worthiness.

The Series 2012 Refunding Certificates were underwritten by L.J. Hart & Company and made available to local financial institutions. L.J. Hart & Company mentioned that the Bank of Kirksville purchased the entire $1,000,000 of Certificates, which was very helpful to the success of the financing. The closing for the refunding issue occurred on May 2, 2012.

Several board members commended Mr. Shalley and L.J. Hart & Company for developing the attractive refunding plan. "It is nice to be able to save $91,680 of interest expense that can be otherwise used in our overall educational program. The superb support of the Bank of Kirksville for our financing at these low interest rates is also quite impressive," commented Trinity Davis, Vice President of the Board of Education.

The legal documents to complete the issuance of the refunding certificates were prepared by John W. Brickler, Esq., of Spencer Fane Britt & Browne, LLP, located in St. Louis, Missouri, in its role as special tax counsel for the District.

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