School district bonds to cost taxpayers $2 million less

SNOQUALMIE - The Snoqualmie Valley School District Board of Directors was happy when signing the paperwork last week to sell the first $40 million of the $53.4 million in bonds voters approved in May.

Not only because the board was moving ahead with a capital improvement plan that will build two new schools, fund numerous upgrades and lay a fiber optic network throughout the district, members were also happy because they were saving a bundle of money.

Historically low interest rates coupled with a recent upgrade in the district's bond rating have enabled the school district to refinance old bonds and issue new bonds that will cost $2 million less than original projections.

While financing the new bonds, John Rose, president and CEO of Seattle-Northwest Securities Corporation, worked on refinancing nearly $37 million in debt the district already has from prior bond issues. Due to the low interest rates, Rose said he was able to work on small bond issues that normally would not have been worth working over again. For instance, he was able to refinance a $3-million bond that was passed in 1992 and save the district taxpayers $282,512.

"In all my years of education, I have never seen bond interest this low," Snoqualmie Valley School District Superintendent Rich McCullough said earlier. "I have never seen them below 8 percent and these are at 5 and 2."

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