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|Refinancing proposal could save $1.3 million|
The Ouachita Parish School Board will have its bonding attorney look into refinancing its westside school bonds, which possibly could save the school system $1.3 million.
Grant Schlueter of the law firm Foley and Judell of New Orleans said the school board typically refinances its bonds whenever there is a possibility to generate savings.
"When we refund general obligation bonds, the savings go to the property taxpayers, and when we refinance sales tax bonds, that frees up additional sales tax money for purposes authorized by the voters on projects the school board needs to do," Schlueter said.
The West Ouachita Parish School District has two bond issues that are both candidates for refinancing.
At its regular meeting Thursday, the school board gave preliminary approval for the refinancing of $36 million of Sales Tax School Refunding Bonds of West Ouachita Parish School District.
Schlueter said if the school board refinances now, it could possibly save $1.3 million on interest charges. He said the market constantly changes, meaning the school board may not be able to lock in any new rates.
The board gave Schlueter the authority to refinance all or a portion of those two bond issues, assuming interest rates remain favorable.
"We'd like to move as quickly as possible," he said. "This will permit us to file with the state bond commission and obtain the required approval from them before we go forward with the marketing of the refunding bonds."
The board would have to give final approval on the terms of the proposed sale of those two bond issues.
If the market changes in the near future, Schlueter said the school board will simply put those bonds "back on the shelf" and wait for more favorable rates.