Education

QPS officials meet with bond rating agency; board holds hearing on life safety bonds

Quincy School Board President Sayeed Ali signs paperwork for a required public hearing for selling $3.4 million in life safety bonds as Quincy School District attorney David Penn reviews additional paperwork after a special Wednesday morning board meeting. | H-W Photo/Deborah Gertz Husar
By Herald-Whig
Posted: May. 16, 2018 9:25 pm Updated: May. 16, 2018 9:35 pm

QUINCY -- Quincy Public Schools expects to have its latest bond rating by May 23.

Quincy School District officials met with the district's bond rating agency Wednesday afternoon as a step toward setting the rating, which Chief of Business Operations Ryan Whicker said will affect plans for selling $3.4 million in school fire prevention and safety bonds, and the final $17.3 million in bonds for the district's $89 million building project.

Whicker said a hoped-for higher rating than the current BBB+ could lead to lower interest rates on the bonds.

The School Board, meeting in special session Wednesday morning, held a required public hearing for selling the life safety bonds, which will be used for roof and door replacement at Quincy Junior High School, along with several projects at Baldwin Intermediate School. The latter include asbestos abatement and new heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems in the auditorium and Blue Devil Gym.

"Our $89 million referendum project came in so well on interest rates that it freed up some capacity to issue some health life safety bonds," Whicker said.

Plans call for selling the life safety bonds in late May, with the proceeds available to the district about June 19.

Even with the district issuing the life safety bonds, district residents will not be paying more in taxes than anticipated at the start of the building project.

The building project goal was to keep the overall tax rate at or below the 2013 level of $4.133 per $100 equalized assessed value. Subsequent tax rates have been $4.011 in 2014, $4.036 in 2015, $3.978 in 2016 and $3.976 in 2017, according to PMA Securities.

"How we communicated at the beginning of the building project would still be accurate," School Board President Sayeed Ali said.

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