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District cuts 5 years off bond PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 16 November 2017 13:23

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Refinance to cut $19 million in interest



By EARL WATT
• Leader & Times




The school district has cut the ribbon on the opening of new schools recently, and now they have taken the big scissors and cut $19 million and five years off the bond as well.

Local taxpayers will be able to experience more than $19 million in interest savings after a recent refinance was approved during a special USD No. 480 School Board meeting Wednesday.

Not only will the taxpayers save money, but the length of the bond will be reduced by five years as well.

The district passed a $127 million bond in 2014 that was orignally termed for 25 years. But the refinance will cut that to 20 years and reduced interest owed by more than $19 million.

Board President Steve Helm said it was an easy decision.

“It’s a no brainer,” he said. “You save almost $20 million. It’s  a great deal for the taxpayers. It’s like refinancing your house any time you can have worthwhile savings.”

Board member Cliff Abbott also saw it as a great benefit.

“It was presented by (Finance Director) Jerry Clay, and he was the driving force behind it,” Abbott said. “He researched it and found the best avenue to save on our bond and interest. Because of the economy, there was a chance to redo it, and by doing so, we could trim five years off of bond and interest, directly saving the district $19 million.”

The bond passed with 76 approving the proposal, and five new schools have been constructed and are operational.

“In my lifetime, there hasn’t been a $127 million bond,” Abbott said. “Those aren’t even done in communities twice our size. Our community said, ‘We want this.’ We felt a tremendous responsibility to be prudent and do whatever we could do to be responsible to the taxpayers.”

Clay also stated that this will allow the mill levy and half-cent sales tax to retire five years earlier than expected.

 

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The High Plains Daily Leader and Southwest Daily Times are published Sunday through Friday and reaches homes throughout the Liberal, Kansas retail trade zone. The Leader & Times is the official newspaper of Seward County, USD No. 480, USD No. 483 and the cities of Liberal and Kismet.  The Leader & Times is a member of the Liberal Chamber of Commerce, the Kansas Press Association and the Associated Press.

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