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Connellsville district to consider refinancing bonds

| Tuesday, May 7, 2013, 7:45 a.m.

Connellsville Area School Board members on Monday night listened to a presentation by John McShane of Boenning & Scattergood concerning segments of the district's outstanding bond debt.

McShane said that he would recommend the board consider refinancing of bonds to take advantage of the lower interest rates available, which are substantially lower than when the bonds were secured in 2008 and after.

“Interest rates do fluctuate,” McShane said. “Rates are the lowest that they have been in 20 years. We are now looking at very good rates, very attractive rates. This would not increase the maturity of the loans and it would not increase payment. All you will do is lower your interest rates.”

The lowering of the rates could generate hundreds of thousands of savings, which could be used toward debt payments, he noted.

The board will review the report and could vote on it as early as its 7 p.m. Wednesday meeting or may plan a special meeting to further study the information.

Several supplemental positions and the approval of three leaves of absence from faculty and district employees will be discussed on Wednesday.

The board will vote on several items pertaining to costs associated with the high school renovations.

Also on the agenda will be approval to purchase textbooks and all Title I, II and III funding for the 2013-14 school year.

The agenda will include retaining for four-year terms Gene Cunningham as treasurer; Cherie Routzahn, assistant treasurer; Vicki McWilliams, board secretary; and Karen Marko, assistant board secretary.

Addressing a recent issue with a bus returning to one of the district's schools late, Director Kevin Lape suggested sending a memo to all elementary schools reminding them of the bus schedules for planning purposes.

“With all of the field trips that will now be going on, we have to make sure that the buses are back by dismissal so the buses don't have to be held,” Lape said.

Marilyn Forbes is a freelance writer.

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