Letter O

On Tuesday, August 29th, Ocosta School District No. 172 successfully completed a public sale of $7,025,000 of Unlimited Tax General Obligation Refunding Bonds.  The purpose of the sale was to refinance the District’s outstanding 2013 bonds.  This refinancing will reduce the District’s existing debt and save taxpayers a total of $810,555 over the next nine (9) years.

 The District accomplished these savings by approving the issuance of the refunding bonds at its Board meeting held on July 25, 2023.  The District has been actively monitoring bond market conditions and low interest rates allowed the District to exceed its savings target.  Interest rates averaged 3.51% on the new bonds compared to 5.00% on the old debt.

 The strong result was achieved due to many factors:

 i.    Responsible stewardship and financial management by the District Board and Administration, evidenced by the affirmation of the District’s underlying rating of “A1” by Moody’s Investors Service.  This strong underlying rating provided impetus for investor demand for the Bonds, resulting in a lower borrowing cost to District residents.

ii.   District officials’ decision to participate in the Washington State School District Credit Enhancement Program (rated “Aaa” by Moody’s Investors Service).  Program participation is dependent upon voter approval and provides investors with surety for the repayment of the Bonds.

iii.  Robust investor demand due to low municipal bond issuance nationally.

 Superintendent Heather Sweet was pleased to have met and exceeded all of the expectations placed on her team by District residents and the Board.  She said, “Our team is thankful the borrowing went so well and that the tax burden for District residents has been lessened.  We understand the trust imparted to us by our citizens and truly appreciate the support of the community."

 Superintendent Sweet emphasized that these savings flow directly to taxpayers through reduced tax levies and are not available for District expenses.  “This is a direct savings to our community members in the form of taxes they expected, but will not have to pay,” Sweet said.