Beaufort school district refinancing said to save $2.4 million

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The Beaufort County School District's $28.77 million bond sale this week includes a refinancing component that school leaders say will save taxpayers about $2.4 million due to an interest rate of less than 1 percent.

The sale of Series 2011D bonds to J.P Morgan Securities includes new financing as well as lower-interest refinancing from previous bond sales. J.P. Morgan offered the best of 10 bids received from various national securities firms.

Superintendent Valerie Truesdale said the new portion of the funding – about $11 million – is part of the district's multiyear capital improvement plan and would be used for a variety of school building maintenance projects all over the county.

Brian Nurick of Ross, Sinclaire & Associates, LLC, the district's financial advisers, called the bond sale's low interest rate of .83 percent and the high number of bid submissions received "another validation of the strength of the district's bond rating." Nurick said that in addition to the winning bid from J.P. Morgan, submissions came from securities companies that included Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Morgan Stanley.

Truesdale said the district's financial advisers would continue to monitor the multiyear capital improvement program for ways to save additional funds wherever possible.

"The strong stewardship and financial management of our School Board and district team are making it possible to do much-needed maintenance work on our 32 schools, and to do that in extremely cost-effective ways," Truesdale said. 

The school district has been trying to come to terms with a need to save $7 million due to rising costs.