School district sells its last high school bonds

By the end of February, the Oak Harbor School District will have sold the remaining bonds that are funding the renovation of Oak Harbor High School.

The district is looking to sell the last $16 million worth of bonds on Feb. 25.

Superintendent Rick Schulte said it was best to break up the bond sale because it meant a lower tax rate for homeowners. Once the school district sells the bonds, it has to start paying interest on them.

Once the sale is complete the tax rate, including all of the bonds and levies taxpayers are funding, will stand at $1.98 per $1,000 assessed value, which is less than the advertised $2.58 tax rate when the school district went to voters for the $54 million bond in 2006. Further, in 2009, the rate will drop to $1.90 per thousand.

Jack Eaton, the underwriter hired by the school district for the bond sale, said the lower tax rate was caused by the higher assessments that have been taking place in recent years. As property increased in value, the cost per thousand decreases.

Eaton, who works for D.A. Davidson, a full service investment bank, has been involved with the school district bond sales since 1996. He said during the Monday evening school board meeting that the rates are good and selling in February allows a chance to maximize investments.

The school district sold the other $38 million in bonds in July 2006.

The cash will be in the school district’s hands by March 10 and then invested until spent on the renovation project.

Bids for the first phase of the project are set to go out in February and construction of the new career technical building and the bus parking lot is scheduled to begin in May.

During the renovation, freshmen and sophomores will split their time between the high school and the former Clover Valley Elementary School, which will be known as the North Campus.

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