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Debt refinance could save $4 million

School District 833

Refinanced debt could save School District 833 taxpayers more than $4 million.

South Washington County Schools plans to reissue $34.13 million in debt approved in 2008 in hopes of cutting the interest rates in half.

The debt currently has interest rates ranging from 4 percent to 5 percent, said Jodie Zesbaugh, a senior municipal advisor at Ehlers, a financial firm contracted by the school district.

Refunding in the current market could secure rates of 2 percent to 4 percent, she said.

The result would be estimated savings of $4.78 million in future reduced debt service payments through 2027. Actual savings will be determined when the district opens bids Oct. 13.

"It's a great way to bring $4.6 million in savings to taxpayers," School Board Chairman Ron Kath said.

The savings only can be used to lower the future levy.

Finance Director Dan Pyan said the savings would go into effect beginning in 2018.

Debt to be refinanced is from a voter-approved bond for construction of East Ridge High School and other building renovations and a levy for facility improvements.

Scott Wente

Scott Wente has been editor at the South Washington County Bulletin since 2011. He worked as a reporter at other Forum Communications newspapers from 2003 to 2011.

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