Tamaqua Area School District looks to refinance bond issues
JOE PLASKO/TIMES NEWS New teachers in the Tamaqua Area School District for the 2009-2010 school year are, from left, Joshua Shilko, high school health and physical education; Lauren Harvilla, elementary learning support; Jocelyn Schafer, high school business education; Jose R. Urquiza, high school Spanish; Angela McCabe, elementary occupational therapist; and Megan Hales, middle school family and consumer science.
The Tamaqua Area School District is looking at savings through the refinancing of two bond issues.
John B. Kelly of PNC Capital Markets, Philadelphia, addressed the district's Finance Committee Tuesday night about refunding options available for two of the bonds.
According to Kelly, who has assisted the district in refinancing its bonds for considerable savings in the past, the current market is favorable for the refunding of two of its callable bonds, in particular a bond issued in 2003 that still has $3.1 million outstanding won't reach full maturity until 2020.
Another bond, issued in 2001, has $815,000 outstanding with two maturities left.
Kelly felt the district should consider its options for the 2003 bond, which he felt could reap savings of 3.8 pecent, or $119,000, if refinanced under current interest rates. The district might be able to save less on the 2001 issue, perhaps $3,500, he noted.
It would be up to the district to establish a threshold of potential savings for any transation.
If the board decides to proceed, it has two options, said Kelly. One, which the district has done in the past, involves hiring a team, including a bond counsel, to put together a document authorizing the refunding. That would need approval at a school board meeting.
The other option calls for a parameters resolution that, if market conditions are favorable, would authorize an individual to proceed with advancing the refinancing deal.
Board Treasurer Daniel E. Schoener, who chairs the Finance Committee, suggested a savings threshold of at least $95,000. Kelly said he felt that parameter could be met now in the current market.
Board President Larry A. Wittig noted Kelly has be able to almost clairvoyantly capture the district's sought-after savings threshold in past refunding transactions.
"Sometimes it's better to be lucky than good," said Kelly, who will draw up the necessary documents to proceed.
New teachers introduced
The board introduced the district's new teachers for this year prior to the meetings.
New faculty members include Joshua Shilko, high school health and physical education; Lauren Harvilla, elementary learning support; Jocelyn Schafer, high school business education; Jose R. Urquiza, high school Spanish; Angela McCabe, elementary occupational therapist; and Megan Hales, middle school family and consumer science.
In other business, the Finance Committee recommended advertising for the repair of the chiller unit for Rush Elementary School, Hometown. Facilities Manager Arthur Oakes, Jr. said estimates for the repairs are in the $55,000 range.
High School Principal RuthAnn Gardiner noted there is a public survey regarding Middle States accreditation for the district's high and middle schools available on-line on the district's website. She urged residents to go on-line and take the survey, which will be available through Oct. 30.