WASD hoping for savings with bond refinancing

Audrey Bear with Piper Sandler is pictured in this screenshot during her refinancing presentation to the Wyalusing School Board Monday.

WYALUSING – With all time low interest rates, one bond past its call date for refinancing and a second just months away, the Wyalusing School Board has started discussions that could potentially save more than $123,000 through bond refinancing over the next five years.

“One hundred and twenty-three thousand dollars is a lot of money. I wish it was $223,000, but your old interest rates were pretty good,” said Audrey Bear, a managing director with Piper Sandler. about the district’s 2013 and 2016 bond issues. Bear conservatively estimated the cost of refinancing to be around $50,000, which was included in the projected savings.

Although the call date on the 2016 bond is not up until April 1, 2021, Bear said the board can lock in an interest rates as soon as 120 days prior.

“So this is the time when we should be thinking about it,” she said.

If the school board is interested in moving forward, Bear will bring a resolution for approval at the October meeting to get the process started. The board can then lock in interest rates at the end of November.

Superintendent Jason Bottiglieri noted that the board had previously set an $80,000 savings benchmark for pursuing any refinancing.

Business Manager Stephanie Heller added that the refinancing wouldn’t extend either of the existing bond terms as currently proposed.

“This sounds good to me all the way around,” said school board member Richard Robinson. Other school board members also praised the effort as they extended an invitation for Bear to return next month to begin the process.

“An opportunity to save taxpayers $120,000, it’s hard to say no,” said Bottiglieri.

Bear noted that the school board would be under no obligation to move forward with refinancing once the resolution is signed if interest rates became unfavorable.

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