Lindbergh bond sale scheduled Tuesday

Refunding to save taxpayers $1.6 million, CFO tells board

By Mike Anthony

Lindbergh Schools’ sale of roughly $32.65 million in general obligation bonds to refund bonds issued in 2007 is scheduled for next week.

The sale of the bonds, set for Tuesday, is expected to save taxpayers $1.6 million, according to Chief Financial Officer Charles Triplett.

At the recommendation of the district’s independent financial adviser, Joy Howard of WM Financial Strategies, the Board of Education voted in December to begin the process of refunding $32 million worth of bonds issued in 2007 as part of Proposition R 2006.

Board members voted 6-0 last month to adopt a resolution authorizing the sale.

Board Treasurer Kara Gotsch was absent from the Jan. 14 meeting.

Triplett noted that when the bonds were issued originally, “interest rates back then, of course, were higher than they are today. We’re estimating that we can shave about a percentage point off that if we sell new bonds to pay off these old ones …”

Regarding the projected savings of $1.6 million, he said, “… That money is not money collected by the district, it truly stays with the taxpayers, the residents of the district, and allows us to keep our debt-service tax rate lower … because we have less interest that we have to pay back on those bonds …”

The school board is scheduled to meet Tuesday night, the day of the sale.

“… At that meeting, you’d be asked to approve the sale of those bonds, if we go forward with it,” Triplett said. “So there’s nothing that obligates us to either sell the bonds or accept the bids that we get that day …”

Bids for the new bonds, which are rated Aa1 by Moody’s Investors Service, will be accepted until 10 a.m. the day of sale.

“… The district has always used and will continue to use a competitive sale process, not negotiated bids with just one vendor …,” Triplett said. “Our rating is the best that any school district in the state has.

“There’s only one better rating possible, and we’re working with Moody’s to see if we can’t attain that …”

By taking advantage of lower interest rates and refinancing bonds in 1998, 2001, 2004, 2008, 2010, 2012 and 2013, the school district has saved taxpayers a total of $5,315,736.