School officials angling for favorable bond refinancing rate

FLINT TWP. — In what could be good news for taxpayers, the Carman Ainsworth Board of Trustees began a process in September authorizing the refinancing of bonds issuances, hoping to save a million dollars in interest payments.

The refinancing — referred to as refunding — would cover all or a portion of the 2002 School Building and Site Bonds of June 2002 taxpayers approved in the amount of $49.7 million that was used to renovate most of the district’s buildings.

By resolution, the board authorized the issuance and serial or terms bonds in an aggregate principal amount not to exceed $17.6 million.

As of about Sept. 16, favorable bond interest rates would have saved over one million dollars in total payout, to the benefit of taxpayers, if the district could have locked in on that date, said Superintendent Bill Haley.

In early October, Haley updated the board that refinancing prospects still looked pretty good.

But this week Haley asked the board to amend its Sept. 20 resolution because interest rates are now less favorable. Haley said the district still may be able to refinance a smaller amount than originally planned.

The amended resolution changes the language from an exact dollar amount to a specified savings percentage.

The resolution sets a maximum interest rate for the bonds at 4.250 percent and states that is must produce a present value savings to the district of no less than two percent.

Bond refunding can result in taxpayers paying less than expected when they approved the bond sale.

“We are going to ask for less mills per year because that is what we promised,’’ Haley said.

The authorized resolution is effective until April 1, 2012 but Haley said he could not say when it would be exercised. It will depend on advice from bond counselors and the district will move ahead when the time is right, he said.

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