Brainerd Public Schools: Board agrees to issue, refund bonds
Bond issuing and refunding took center stage at the Brainerd School Board's Monday, Oct. 8, meeting.
Director of Business Services Marci Lord and Greg Crowe, a municipal adviser with Ehlers Inc., walked board members through the sale process for post-employment benefits, referred to as OPEB, refunding bonds and building refunding bonds.
The OPEB bonds were originally issued for $22,915,000 in 2009 to pay post-employment benefits to district employees after their termination of service, and Lord said the district is looking to refund them right now for $9,470,000. The current bonds have interest rates between 4.6-5 percent, but Crowe estimates the new refunding bonds to have rates around 2.85-3.15 percent, which would reduce the district's future debt services payments by more than $300,000 between 2020-2023.
The building bonds were originally issued for $49,970,000 in 2010 with an interest rate of 4 percent. With interest rates around 3-4 percent for the refunded bonds, Crowe said debt services payments will decrease "significantly" between 2020-2023.
The district is also set to issue about $14,830,000 in new general obligation facilities maintenance bonds to fund projects in the district's 10-year facility maintenance plan.
On Nov. 14—the day of sale—Lord, along with Superintendent Laine Larson and a school board representative, will receive proposals and accept the lowest bids. The board will then ratify that acceptance its next meeting Nov. 26.