News Column

TF School Board OKs Closing on Bond Sale

May 16, 2014

By Julie Wootton, The Times-News, Twin Falls, Idaho

May 16--TWIN FALLS -- Just months after voters approved nearly $74 million in funding, the Twin Falls school board voted Thursday to close on selling bonds.

The board's action means the sale can be finalized, said Eric Heringer, a managing director of public finance for Piper Jaffray.

Now, they'll close May 29 and "that's when you'd actually get the money in your account," said Heringer, the school district's bond underwriter.

The bulk of the money approved by voters in March will be used to build two new elementary schools and a middle school.

School district officials attended the bond sale Tuesday in Seattle.

It was a good week to sell bonds because interest rates came down -- a trend in recent months, Heringer said.

"It has basically gotten better all year since January."

The interest rate is 3.84 percent -- about 1 percent lower than what the district originally estimated, Heringer told the Times-News. The bonds will be repaid over 25 years.

Market conditions are

favorable, with a small supply of municipal bonds and a strong demand from buyers, Heringer said.

Also, there was an effort to make opportunities available to local investors via Edward Jones, he said.

Herringer said he wanted to make the district meet or beat the property tax impact presented to voters -- 66 cents more per $1,000 of property value.

Also Thursday:

-- Heard a preliminary budget presentation.

It was another challenging year financially, but things are getting better, Dobbs said.

The district will see a 5.1 percent increase in state funding for the upcoming fiscal year, which starts July 1.

Challenges will include an increase in health insurance costs and the emergency levy will go away, fiscal affairs director Bob Seaman said.

A budget hearing is slated for June 9.


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Source: Times-News (Twin Falls, ID)

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