North Callaway votes to refinance bonds

Student council to develop courtyard at high school

(From left) North Callaway High School Student Council members Cullen Hudson, Brynn Shaw and Jared Graves make a proposal before the school board Thursday night to develop an outdoor courtyard gathering space at the high school.

(From left) North Callaway High School Student Council members Cullen Hudson, Brynn Shaw and Jared Graves make a proposal before the school board Thursday night to develop an outdoor courtyard gathering space at the high school. Photo by Katherine Cummins.

The North Callaway School Board approved a resolution during its regular meeting Thursday night to continue its tradition to save the district money on its debt service obligations.

Tom Pisarkiewicz and Cybil Paris with L.J. Hart and Associates gave a presentation to the board regarding its bond refinancing options for its 2003 and 2009 series bonds. Pisarkiewicz started off the presentation by reminding the board that in the 17 years L.J. Hart has represented North Callaway, the district has been able to save more than $2.7 million in interest, “and we hope to add to that.”

“It’s a good opportunity to save on interest,” Pisarkiewicz said of the current economic climate. “Currently you are paying 3.76 percent in interest. In today’s market, we can get that even lower.”

Pisarkiewicz and Paris — who prepared most of the information for the board Thursday night — presented several different options for refinancing.

After hearing the recommendations from Pisarkiewicz, Paris and Superintendent Bryan Thomsen, the board ultimately decided upon an option that will potentially lower the interest rate to 1.95 percent, save the district $313,330 and allow it the option to pursue another no-tax-increase bond issue — for as much as $4.3 million — as early as 2013.

“I think this is the safe option,” board member Dennis Zerr said.

Board member Mike Shryock agreed, adding that this option, “gives us some flexibility, and we can get back a little bit of that money later.”

Thomsen also pointed out that if the district decides that it does not need to pursue another bond issue in 2013 it also can use the money saved to pay down its existing debt faster.

In other business, several seniors on the high school student council — Cullen Hudson, Brynn Shaw and Jared Graves — asked the board for approval to pursue a project to develop a courtyard in the grassy area between the math and English wings of the high school, near the football concession area.

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