The Golden Hammer Staff Reports
Conroe, October 29 – At their October meeting, the Conroe ISD Board of Trustees received information from Darrin Rice, Conroe ISD CFO, and John Roebuck, BOK Financial Advisors, detailing a savings of nearly $90 million as a result of bond refunding and new bond sales. It’s a shame the Board has never done anything but “receive” information about school district expenditures, since their duty is to take affirmative actions to protect the taxpayers.
Earlier this month, Conroe ISD was able refund $199,630,000 in bonds for an interest cost savings of $50,067,475, or approximately $3.5 million a year for 14 years. The District was also able to issue $165,090,000 in new bonds for approximately $38 million less in interest costs than what was estimated in the 2019 November bond referendum. These combined transactions equate to a savings of nearly $90 million.
The total bond package was $677.3 million, which voted approved on November 6, 2019. Voters had previously rejected a similar but larger $803 million bond package on May 4, 2019.
In referencing the timing of the sale, Mr. Ray Sanders, Board Secretary commented, “We appreciate your financial advice on that because that could have cost us several million dollars or cost the taxpayers quite a bit, and we appreciate that as well. I think it’s an important point to make.”
Mr. Roebuck remarked, “It’s so nice to work with a school district that’s got such a high credit rating. It’s easy for the underwriters to sell these bonds.” Since January of 2016, Conroe ISD has had an AA+ bond rating from Standard & Poor’s and an Aa1 bond rating from Moody’s.
Hopefully, the school district will lower district property taxes by the full $90 million in the coming fiscal year.