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Bridgeport schools mull refinancing outstanding debt

T-L Photos/KIM NORTH BRIDGEPORT EXEMPTED Village School District Treasurer Dana Garrison, left, and Superintendent Brent Ripley look over a document pertaining to the district saving more than $120,000 by refinancing bonds.

BRIDGEPORT — For the second time since 2004, the Bridgeport Exempted Village School District has reduced some of its outstanding debt and saved its taxpayers money at the same time.

The announcement came during Wednesday night’s regular monthly board meeting in the administrative offices.

The district, under the guidance of Treasurer Dana Garrison, recently completed a refinancing of some of its bonds that saved $120,479.42.

In 2004, the district issued bonds to construct new school facilities and administrative offices.

Eight years later, the district refinanced the 2004 bonds, and now the district was able to complete another refinancing — this time of the 2012 bonds, according to a press release.

“Back in August, Mrs. Garrison came to the board and said there’s a possibility that can refinance our school bonds for the levy for the current building that is set to expire and be paid off in 2031,” Superintendent Brent Ripley said. “She went and worked with a company that was able to save us some money. Based on the percentage, we were able to refinance those bonds.”

“What that does, basically, is saves $120,479.42 to the taxpayers that financed the school back in 2007.”

The Series 2019 refunding bonds will reduce the interest rate for the district to 2.29 percent.

“The interest rates are low right now, so it was advantageous for us to look into it at this point in time,” Garrison said. “The last time that it was done was in 2012. The interest rate was 2.9 percent then, so it was worth us looking into while trying to save our taxpayers some money.”

“Bridgeport is a great community. They (the taxpayers) support the schools. They obviously voted the school through, and there’s a levy that has been in existence since 2010 that we can remember,” Ripley added. “Anything we can do to save them money for the support they give to the kids is greatly appreciated.”

The five-member panel also unanimously approved the following matters:

∫ Establishment of a Student Wellness & Success Funds account with $178,820;

∫ Hiring Cole Smelley (varsity football coach) and Jackie Helms (seventh grade volleyball coach) to supplemental positions, retroactive to Aug. 1;

∫ Hiring Mike Seevers (eighth grade girls basketball coach);

∫ Resignation of James Hood, bus driver, effective Oct. 25;

∫ A contract with PSK Innovations to be the school photographer;

∫ Family Medical Leave Act leave for Mary Lander.

The next regular monthly board of education meeting will be held at 5 p.m. Nov. 20 in the administrative offices.

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