By Johnny Jackson
The Henry County Board of Education expected, in May, to save just over half a million dollars through refunding school bonds, but now anticipates saving nearly $3 million more than that.
"The bond market improved during the month of May," said Jeff Allie, Henry's assistant superintendent of finance.
Allie plans to accomplish the windfall of savings by bundling two series of bond debt, to realize a reduced interest rate on the combined Series bonds.
"The Series 2001 and Series 2004 General Obligation bonds will be refunded into one series (General Obligation Refunding Bonds, Series 2011)," he said. "The improvement in the market will allow us to refund both series ,and save approximately $4.4 million."
With the school board's approval of refunded Series 2001 and Series 2004 bonds, Allie said the school district plans to hold a public sale of the Series 2011 bonds on Tuesday, June 28.
The assistant superintendent noted that current interest rates for the existing bond debt -- Series 2001 and Series 2004 -- average about 5 percent. However, the school board could see potential interest rates fall to 1.5 percent for Series 2001, and 2.8 percent for Series 2004, after the refunding process.
The difference in potential interest rates, Allie explained, is due to the number of years before each series is retired. The school district's Series 2001 debt is worth $13,815,000, and is expected to be retired in August 2014. The Series 2004 debt is worth $107,295,000, and would be retired in August 2023.
The lower interest rates will allow the school district to pay less than before on its semi-annual bond payments, continued Allie.
The school district reported other debts, including Series 2007A bonds, worth $77,655,000, which will be retired in April 2013, and Series 2007 bonds, worth $13,060,000, which will be retired in August 2024.
On the net:
Henry County Schools: www.henry.k12.ga.us.