Bakersfield School Cuts Levy on new High School from 20 to 15 years

Bakersfield School Saves Taxpayers $424,722 and Shortens the Levy on the High School by 5 years

              At the regular board meeting on Thursday, November 21, 2019, the Bakersfield R-IV School District authorized a refinancing of the 2015 general obligation bonds for the High School Building that was passed in 2015.  The action will result in an overall interest 2% reduction compared to the 2015 bonds. 

            This refinancing will save the tax payers approximately $378,222.  In addition, the district has made smaller prepayments totaling $46,500 for a total savings of $424,722.  The 2015 bonds were scheduled to sunset in 20 years from issuance in 2015, which is 2035.  The refinancing will result in the bonds being paid off a full five years early, retiring in 2030.  Additionally, there is an opportunity to cut off approximately two more years, if the district is able to make additional small prepayments and/or refinance again when the bonds are callable in five years.  This would take a 20 year note down to fifteen years, with the possibility of reducing it down to thirteen years. 

            The Bakersfield R-IV Board of Education appreciates the sacrifice made by taxpayers and wants to do everything possible to pay the bond down early and lower the burden for those who made the project possible.  Board president Bruce Bales said, “We, as stewards of the Bakersfield R-IV School District, recognize that the voters put a great deal of trust in us by approving a $1.05 debt service levy back in 2015 to build the new high school.  Our goal has been to pay off the debt as quickly as possible to save tax payers money.” Mike Scott, Vice-President of the Board added, “We appreciated the support back in 2015 and want to do everything we can to minimize the burden on tax payers.”  

            Dr. Amy Britt said, “The support the citizens of this district is something that we do not take for granted.  The patrons of Bakersfield School have provided us with great facilities that are safe and we want to do everything we can to take care of these facilities and the students who use them.  There are two ways we can demonstrate our appreciation for patron support.  First, we take care of the kids and do our best for them.  Second, we are prudent with their money.  We are doing both. “

            According to Courtney Wegmen, VP at LJ Hart & Company, the some of the bonds were acquired locally by Century Bank of the Ozarks and Community First Banking Company.