Oak Harbor School District looks at bond refund

The Oak Harbor School Board passed a motion Monday that Superintendent Rick Schulte said should benefit taxpayers to the tune of about half a million dollars.

The resolution delegates authority to Schulte to approve the sale and refunding of all or a portion of the bonds sold in 2006 for the Oak Harbor High School remodel. Voters approved $54 million in bonds in 2006.

If interest rates are favorable, then I would approve that refunding,” Schulte said.

When the district sold the bonds, Schulte said he thought the interest rate was so low that they would never be able to resell them. However,  interest rates have fallen so far that the district could save $500,000  over the life of the bonds, to December 2022.

“The total benefit is for the taxpayer,” Schulte said.

Schulte explained that he would sell new bonds at a lower interest rate than the existing 2006 bonds. The proceeds from the sale of the new bonds will be used to pay the principal and interest on the 2006 bonds as it becomes due, since it can’t be paid off early, Schulte said.

He said they hope to sell the bonds at less than 2.5 percent interest rate, “which is literally unheard of in the last 50 years,” Schulte said.

“It’s very similar to refinancing your home,” Schulte said of the process.

Schulte said he has been the one to authorize every bond sale and refunding since 1995 so this is nothing new for the district. He will continue to consult with bond attorney Roy Koegan, who has served as the district bond attorney since 1995, and with bond underwriter David Tragasser from D.A. Davidson. Tragasser replaced Jack Eaton, the district’s bond underwriter since 1995, who retired earlier this year.

For more information, call the district office at 279-5000.


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