Athens School Board pursuing savings with bond refinancing

Audrey Bear with Piper Jaffray & Co. talks about bond refinancing before the school board passed a resolution to pursue it Tuesday.

The Athens Area School District is moving forward with bond refinancing in hopes of taking advantage of an interest rates that have dipped near the 40-year low.

On Tuesday, the school board voted to move forward with in hopes of securing around $244,000 in savings over the remaining lives of two bond issues following presentations from financial advisor Audrey Bear of Piper Jaffray & Co. and bond counsel Dave Unkovic from McNees Wallace & Nurick.

Bear warned that the rates she was showing school board members Tuesday might not be the rates that will be available once their paperwork is filed, and noted that the savings she was presenting had already decreased compared to last week.

The Athens Area School District has typically utilized a threshold of 2% savings for refinancing. During Bear’s presentation, she indicated it was at 3.21%.

The resolution approved Tuesday gives the school district the option to refinance, but does not commit it to refinancing if the savings aren’t optimal, according to Bear.

“It gives us the opportunity to do the paperwork and be ready to move ahead, if you’re so inclined,” she said.

Connect with Matt: (570) 265-2151 ext. 1628; mhicks@thedailyreview.com; Facebook @Matt Hicks Daily Review.