District to save $1.8 million in interest payments

Fourth round of refinancing bond-like certificates OK’d

By Gloria Lloyd

After four rounds of refinancing this year, the Mehlville School District will save more than $1.8 million in interest payments on bond-like certificates through 2021.

The Board of Education voted unanimously earlier this month to refinance $3.8 million worth of certificates of participation, or COPs, issued in 2011 with an interest rate of 2.03 percent. The new issue of COPs will have a market-driven interest rate of 1.88 percent, which Chief Financial Officer Marshall Crutcher estimates will save the district $192,000.

“I think that’s pretty significant, and I’m pretty proud that we were able to accomplish that,” Crutcher said of the total $1.8 million savings this year.

The fourth round of refinancing will close Thursday, May 22. In response to a question from board Vice President Venki Palamand about what happens to the money that is saved in interest payments, Crutcher replied that paying less in interest on COPs frees up money in the district’s operations budget.

L.J. Hart & Co. is serving as the district’s underwriter for the refinancing. The next available opportunity for the district to refinance COPs is in September 2015, Crutcher noted.