Roaring Fork School District to refinance 2004 bond issue
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – The Roaring Fork School District Re-1 is refinancing part of its 2004 facilities bond issue, resulting in a savings to district taxpayers of about $200,000 per year, according to the district’s assistant superintendent of business, Shannon Pelland.
The plan to refinance $53.2 million in bonds will cut the net interest rate on the bond debt from 4.2 percent to 2.47 percent, Pelland said.
Over the remaining 12-year term of the bonds, the district will save approximately $2.6 million, she said.
The original $86 million bond issue, approved by district voters in 2004, paid for the new Glenwood Springs High School building and the new Roaring Fork High School building in Carbondale. It also paid for a large expansion to Crystal River Elementary School in Carbondale and renovations to convert the former Roaring Fork High School building into what’s now Carbondale Middle School.
The accompanying mill levy to pay off the debt will also be reduced to reflect the lower interest payments, Pelland said.
“That’s how the savings flow through to the taxpayers,” she said.
The district had set a threshold on the lower interest rate of 3 percent before it could justify refinancing the bonds, she said.
“We’ve been watching it pretty carefully for the past year, and almost got there last December,” Pelland said. “It’s one of those things that’s day to day, and it didn’t quite work at that time.”
A favorable trend in the bond market starting in August finally lowered the rate enough to support the refinancing option, Pelland said.
“We had already done two smaller bond refunds previously, but this one will result in significant savings,” she said.
A small amount of the original bond issue could still be refinanced in the future, she said.
The school district is also three years away from paying off an earlier bond issue, which was approved by voters in the mid-1990s. It was used to pay for construction of Sopris Elementary School in Glenwood Springs, the current Basalt High School building and other Basalt and Carbondale school improvements.
That bond issue was refinanced in 2005. Once the debt on those bonds is paid off in 2014, the supporting mill levy will also be eliminated, Pelland said.
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