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Roaring Fork School District taxpayers to see savings in refunding of 2016 bond issue

Riverview School just south of Glenwood Springs was one of the major projects completed with the Roaring Fork School District’s 2016 bond issue, which the district is now planning to refinance for some taxpayer savings.
John Stroud/Post Independent

Taxpayers in the Roaring Fork School District should see about $8 million in savings over the next 14 years due to a refunding of bonds that were part of the overall $122 million 2016 bond issue.

The local school board last week unanimously agreed to authorize the district to reissue $105.2 million of that amount. That should bring about $574,000 in annual savings to the district through 2035, Nathan Markham, chief financial officer for the district, explained in a memo to the board.

The original bond issue was approved by district voters in November 2015, with about 60% of voters from Glenwood Springs to Basalt favoring the measure.



It resulted in the construction of the new preK-8 Riverview School south of Glenwood Springs, at an original cost of $34.5 million.

Another $20 million went to the renovation and expansion of Glenwood Springs Elementary School, and $5 million went to create an affordable teacher housing program in each of the three Roaring Fork District communities.



The bonds are to be paid back over 20 years through a dedicated property tax mill levy. The mill levy amounted to about $55 per year per $100,000 of residential property assessed value, and $260 per year per $100,000 of commercial value.

“Periodically, market conditions allow us to refund (refinance) a portion of our general obligation bonds due to lower interest rates, resulting in savings to our taxpayers,” Markham wrote in the memo that was before the school board at a June 29 special meeting.

The refinancing is to be completed within the next year at an interest rate not to exceed 2.5%, and bond maturity is to be no later than Dec. 15, 2035, according to the refinancing proposal.

The overall savings on the principal amount owed is expected to be 5%, Markham said.

Senior Reporter/Managing Editor John Stroud can be reached at 970-384-9160 or jstroud@postindependent.com.


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