District 833 briefs for March 28Operating budget, bonds approved for addition; Bonds sold, high rating retained
By: Amber Kispert-Smith, Woodbury Bulletin
Bonds sold, high rating retained
District 833 has retained its strong AA1 bond rating by Moody’s because it has a healthy fund balance and is fully funding its retirement obligations, said Joel Sutter of Ehlers & Associates, the district’s bond consultants.
The district is among the top ten statewide with a rating that high, Sutter told the School Board at its Thursday meeting.
Ehlers was also able to complete the sale of $6.1 million in alternative facilities bonds, which includes heating and cooling renovations and other improvements this summer at Armstrong Elementary School. That will complete the construction cycle of older elementary schools.
Sutter said the bond market has been a roller coaster for a year.
Four months ago, the estimated bond interest rate was 4.5 percent and 2.8 percent a month ago.
The bonds were awarded at 3.35 percent, he said, “still a very favorable rate.”
Sutter said another $5 million in bonds had been refunded to a lower interest rate, allowed one time during the term of the bonds. Under state law, the savings of $113,000 must be returned to taxpayers by lowering the tax levy.
Operating budget, bonds approved for addition
The District 833 School Board gave the nod to a $6.9 million operating capital budget last week, which includes spending $1 million from the 2006 construction referendum. The budget includes some of the funding for the off-site addition to Liberty Ridge Elementary School in Woodbury, a new concession stand at Woodbury High School, new baseball field at Park High School, additional technology, software licenses, new staff computers and new elementary school math curriculum.
It also approved a $5 million bond sale to complete the lease purchase for Liberty Ridge Site 2.
Board Member Jim Gelbmann was the lone “no” vote on the bond sale. The district should not be spending money to house 200 Liberty Ridge students when there is room in other district schools, he said.