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West County board approves refunding of bonds
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West County board approves refunding of bonds

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West County board approves refunding of bonds

West County School District Board of Education members Byron Pratt, Tiffani Wright, Rick Lawson, and Shawn Meinershagen look over information on the bond refunding.

In a special meeting this month, the West County Board of Education approved the refunding of the Series 2016 bonds.

The bonds total $3,690,000. The refunding will save the school district $188,024 in interest.

The refunding will be done through St. Louis’ L.J. Hart and Company. Vice President Courtney Wegman and Assistant Vice President Neil Branham attended the meeting to walk the board members through the proposed savings.

According to Branham, the new bonds will have reoffering yields ranging from .45% to 1% compared to an average interest rate of 2.05% for the 2016 bonds.

“It’s exciting to be here with where the market is right now and being able to refinance the Series 2016 bonds, which are actually a refunding of the ‘14 bonds that were initially issued for the new middle school,” Wegman said. “So the fact that we're able to take another bite of the apple and realize more interest savings is fantastic.”

The refunding in 2016 saved the district $956,726, meaning the total savings for the bonds now becomes $1,044,750.

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Branham said they already have investors lined up to purchase the bonds, including three local banks. Belgrade State Bank agreed to purchase $460,000; New Era Bank $430,000; and First State Community Bank $400,000.

He also said the district’s balances will soon start to exceed its payments, which indicates the opportunity to do a no-tax increase bond issue or prepay the bonds off quicker.

Superintendent Dr. Kevin Coffman said the board would start thinking about these options for 2023 as they start looking into capital improvement options.

“In talking with them this evening, we're probably looking at somewhere in the neighborhood of $2.5 million that we'll be able to run a no-tax increase bond issue in 2023,” he said.

Also during the meeting, the board gave approval for the district to seek out bids for a new bus.

Coffman said they will be looking at getting a 71-passenger transit bus.

The district has a $22,000 grant to use toward the purchase of the bus.

Nikki Overfelt-Chifalu is a reporter for the Daily Journal. She can be reached at noverfelt@dailyjournalonline.com.

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