Education

Canton School Board offering $2.5 million in bonds to local investors

By Herald-Whig
Posted: Apr. 13, 2019 7:30 pm Updated: Apr. 13, 2019 11:15 pm

CANTON, Mo. — The Canton R-5 School Board is taking steps to sell $2.5 million in bonds approved by voters in the April 2 election, and it wants local individuals and banks to have a chance to buy the bonds as an investment.

"We appreciate the strong vote of confidence we received from local patrons at the election and want the bonds to be available to them," Superintendent Jesse Uhlmeyer said in a press release.

The bond issue passed by a favorable margin of about 90%. The school district will use the proceeds from the bond sale for various capital improvements, safety and security enhancements, energy efficiency improvements and technology upgrades in district buildings.

Uhlmeyer said interest rates are favorable right now, so school officials want to "lock in rates as quickly as possible" in case rates rise in the future.

The board instructed its municipal bond underwriter — L.J. Hart and Co. of St. Louis — to proceed with the sale of the bonds and make them available to local individuals and institutional investors.

Uhlmeyer said the tax-exempt bonds will be sold in $5,000 denominations and will feature interest rates of 5% with "reoffering yields" ranging from 2.1% to 2.3%. The bonds will mature at various dates ranging from March 1, 2029, through March 1, 2034.

Uhlmeyer said the bonds will carry an "AA+" rating from Standard & Poor's Corp. because of the district's participation in the state's direct deposit program coordinated through the Missouri Health and Educational Facilities Authority.

The bonds are being sold on a first-come, first-served basis. Anyone interested in learning more about bond sale can call the Canton School District office at 573-288-5216 or L.J. Hart and Co. at 800-264-4477. A prospectus will be mailed promptly to all callers.

Uhlmeyer said the district expects to receive proceeds from the bond sale by May 14 so it can begin working soon on the various projects spelled out in the referendum.