The Geary USD 475 Board of Education has adopted a bond resolution which officials confirm will keep the local property tax levy from rising as the school district builds a new Junction City High School.
Public Finance Investment Banker Dustin Avey of Piper Jaffray & Co. said one of the biggest components of the bond project was no increase in the mill levy for the school district. A key part of that was locking in long term interest rates for USD 475. “The resolution approved this evening authorizes us to proceed with that process to secure interest rates. Interest rate volatility is certainly unknown but it is certainly out there. Rates are nearing historical lows of the last 30 years so there may not be a better time to put the district in a position to make sure those rates get locked in so we can meet its mill levy commitment.”
The plan is to lock in interest rates early next week for a 25-year period.
The bond resolution includes taxable bonds totaling $41.5 million, non-taxable funds of approximately $26 million, the state match with the non-taxed bonds for the high school project, and the refinancing of two earlier bond issues….series 2005 and 2007. Superintendent Dr. Corbin Witt stated all of that will ensure the property tax levy does not have to be raised for the new high school.
The Board of Education voted 5-1 for the bond resolution, but one member Dr. Anwar Khoury was opposed. He wanted another month to get a second opinion from another firm. But Board member Brian Field arguing in support of the resolution, noted if the BOE passed this resolution now they could keep their word on the property tax levy, and if they did not they would run the risk of not being able to do that. The majority of the Board members agreed with the latter position.