Refinancing of bond-like certificates to save Mehlville about $878,000

Closing on COPs refinancing will be conducted March 20

By Gloria Lloyd

The Mehlville Board of Education voted unanimously last week to refinance $9.8 million in bond-like certificates, for an interest savings of an estimated $878,000.

“This is not an extension of any of these bonds. It’s the same maturity dates,” board President Mark Stoner said at the Feb. 20 meeting. “It’s purely for the savings via the interest rates.”

The refinancing was the first of three that Chief Financial Officer Marshall Crutcher is recommending the Board of Education approve this spring, and will decrease the interest rate on the certificates of participation, or COPs, to 2.27 percent rather than the current average interest rate of 4 percent.

L.J. Hart & Co. is serving as the district’s underwriter for the refinancing.

“It’s just like refinancing your home mortgage,” Crutcher said. “When you refinance with lower interest rates, you save money.”

The savings will run from 2015 through 2021, according to information Crutcher provided to the board.

The closing for the refinancing of the COPs, which were issued in 2010, is scheduled for March 20. L.J. Hart served as the underwriter for the issuance of the 2010 COPs, which were made callable in three years with no penalty.