District makes ‘win-win’ finance move

“There was no cost to the district or taxpayers, only savings”
Alissa Widman Neese
Jan 25, 2014
Clyde-Green Springs Schools refinanced its 2003 school facilities construction and school improvement bonds this past year, taking advantage of significantly lower interest rates.

The risk-free result: Taxpayers will save more than $400,000 total throughout the life of the bond issue, which will now be completely paid off by 2030.

Joyce Dupont, the district’s treasurer, compared the “win-win” move to homeowners refinancing their mortgages to take advantage of lower interest rates.

“There was no cost to the district or taxpayers, only savings,” Dupont said. “The board of education wants to take every opportunity to reduce taxes to our constituents, and with favorable bond market conditions, we think this refunding provides a great opportunity to save money for the community”

School districts can’t refinance callable bonds until 10 years after their issue date.

Clyde-Green Springs Schools’ bonds, approved by voters and issued in 2003, funded renovations to Clyde Elementary School and the construction of Clyde High School’s auditorium, Dupont said.

Their original interest rates typically ranged from 4 to 5 percent, but will now be reissued at a current rate of about 1 percent, she said.

“We got lucky with the perfect timing,” Dupont said.

The total savings to district taxpayers will be $417,877, or about 11 percent of the total cost. The move also shaved a year off the payment time frame, as originally they were slated to be completely paid off by 2031.

In 2018, Clyde-Green Springs Schools will also look to refinance the 2008 bonds that funded its Ohio Schools Facilities Commission building project, which constructed Green Springs Elementary School and the new McPherson Middle School.