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Rockwood Bond Refinancing Saves more than $4.1 Million for Taxpayers

The Rockwood Finance Department smiles for a staff photoThe Rockwood Board of Education unanimously approved the sale of approximately $15.995 million Series 2021 Refunding Bonds that will prepay the Series 2016 Bonds on Feb. 1, 2022. The original issuance of the Series 2016 Bonds was part of the authorization received from the voters in April 2015 to upgrade technology and high school science labs, improve safety and security throughout the district and install synthetic fields and new tracks at the high schools. The refinancing saves Rockwood taxpayers just over $4.1 million in interest expense over the next 14 years.  

The financing plan was developed for the district by its financial advisor, L. J. Hart & Company of St. Louis, Missouri. The goal was to take advantage of the more favorable interest rates presently available, shorten the final repayment period by three full years from 2036 to 2033 and allow the district to pursue the potential levy transfer ballot measure in April 2022. This refinancing, when added to the $5.1 million from previous refundings, brings the total interest cost savings for Rockwood to more than $9 million over the last 10 years. 

Tom Pisarkiewicz, President of L.J. Hart & Company, complimented Rockwood Chief Financial Officer Paul Northington and Dan Steinbruegge, Director of Finance, for their prompt and thorough preparations for the S&P Global rating process as well as the Board of Education for their support in implementing the current tax-exempt refunding. According to Mr. Pisarkiewicz the refunding is possible due to the lower interest rates currently available, which are near historic lows, the fact that the Series 2016 Bonds can be prepaid (called) at no penalty within 90 days of the call date as required by the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and the solid attitude the state of Missouri and national bond markets are assigning to the credit worthiness of the Rockwood School District.

“The interest rate savings occurring as a result of the current bond market are going to be highly beneficial for the long-range plans of the district,” Mr. Northington said. "It appears from these reoffered yields that our good name with a AAA S&P Global rating in the municipal bond market is helpful, as the actual winning bid produced about $100,000 more savings than our projections from one month ago.”