Bond refinancing savings exceeds expectations in Swanville

By Jennie ZeitlerStaff Writer

The sale of Swanville School District’s building bonds was projected give future savings of at least 5.5 percent for taxpayers. The scheduled sale on Oct. 3 went through with rates close to the historic lows of 1967.

“There were six bids, with the lowest rate at .4 percent and the highest at 1.8 percent,” said Jodie Zesbaugh of Ehlers.

The current interest rates of the bonds are 3.5 and 4.1 percent. The reduction in future bond payments is projected to be $536,315 or a savings of 10.35 percent.

“This is the best news we’ve had in a long time,” said Swanville Superintendent of Schools Gene Harthan.

The closing date on the bond sale is Oct. 24.

“The money will stay in escrow until 2014, when the old bonds can be called and then paid off,” said Zesbaugh. “The reduction on taxes will show in 2014, and there should be savings of about $52,000 per year savings.”

The Board passed a resolution ratifying the sale of the bonds at Tuesday’s meeting.

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Other business that came before the Swanville School Board Tuesday included:

• Hearing from students Grant Allen and Austin Johnson regarding this year’s Super Mileage Class. There are two cars planned this time — a stock car using last year’s vehicle, and a modified vehicle. The class members will be asking the school for the entry fees, but will be requesting donations from the Lions and area businesses;

• Approving an introductory membership in the Minnesota Rural Education Association with the registration fee to the annual conference in November included in the package;

• Learning that the new iPads and additional electronic equipment which is being used in the school be students is burdening the school’s wireless system. More research is being done on the problem and possible solutions;

• Approving the hiring of Adam Gerads as head football coach;

• Hearing that a parent brought to Superintendent Gene Harthan concerns about bus behavior and the possibility of installing cameras on the buses. A paraprofessional will be riding the bus at this time;

• Hearing that the health plan renewal with Health Partners includes an increase of 4.46 percent, whereas the state average is about 8 percent;

• Approving a statement of compliance that will be on file with the state that the Swanville School District is not discriminating;

• Setting a date of Nov. 13 to canvass election results;

• Learning that the public address system at the football field is not working, with the sound board possibly being the problem; and

• Hearing about comments from parents to board members regarding the new menus and portions of the school lunch program.

The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Swanville School Board will be Tuesday, Nov. 13 at 7 p.m. in the media center.

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