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One vote saves over $2 million

FARMINGTON — One simple voice vote taken during Tuesday evening’s Farmington R-7 Board of Education meeting saved the district almost $2,177,008. It came by way of approving the recalling and reissuing bonds sold for previous construction projects.

Larry J. Hart, of L.J. Hart and Company based in St. Louis, presented the proposal to the board. The investment broker had first discussed possible future refinancing with the group in May of 1991. He told the board that by making the move now it would save an additional $712,537 over what was anticipated less than two years ago.

Simplified, the move will refund Series 1994 lease financing, Series 1997 refunding bonds, and Series 2000 bonds. The district will call in the bonds already out there, and reissue new bonds, mainly through local brokers and banks.

Hart took time to explain the moves in detail to the board. He also left detailed instruction in writing of just what would transpire. The school district has worked with Hart for several years.

“It is nice to be able to save $1,339,207 of our taxpayers’ money and reduce the final maturity by three full … years without increasing the debt service levy,” board Vice-President Angela Hahn said.

The repayment length on the bonds will be 17 years, as opposed to 20 years.

In other actions, the board heard several lengthy reports regarding building action plans, character education and a library report. All were meant to give members a better detailed understanding of the individual programs operating in the school district.

Farmington resident Kathy Collins was awarded the January Heartland Hero Award from the high school Leadership class. Collins was recognized for her devotion as a substitute and for her work with several organizations in the school district in recent years. The nomination came from the middle school.

In recognition of School Board Member Recognition Week, which runs Jan. 27 through Feb. 1, board members were given gifts from the student council, Superintendent Dr. David Cramp and other members of the faculty and student organizations.

District finance director Don Eaton gave an update on the second quarter budget. He said the district benefited from some additional funding from a couple different sources in the second quarter, and was able to keep expenses down as well.

Following the regular session the board adjourned into a closed session.

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