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Niagara-Wheatfield School Board mulls refinancing bonds

SANBORN – The Niagara-Wheatfield School Board learned Wednesday it could save the district an estimated $380,000 over the next few years by refinancing some serial bonds.

School business manager Allison Brady told the board she is conferring with the bonding attorney and fiscal adviser to determine the lowest interest rate that could be secured to refinance about $14,470,000 in 2007 serial bonds. The money was borrowed for a capital improvement project at a rate of 4.125 percent. By refinancing, the rate could be reduced to a little over two percent, she said.

The savings, that she said would come over a period of about seven years, would present some relief to the district which has struggled with annual budgets for the past few years and has reduced the teaching staff and cut programs.

She said she would take the proposal to the board for review at its next meeting on Feb. 11.

Also, Brady said she should be able to take to the same meeting figures on the projected cap for a property tax increase to be used in calculating the 2015-15 school budget.

The cap represents the maximum amount a district can raise property taxes without needing public approval.

In another matter, the board entered into an agreement with the Williamsville Central School District to lease its sets from the 2014 production of the play, “Shrek.” Superintendent Lynn Fusco said Williamsville will pay the district $500 for use of the stage sets.

The proceeds will go into the Niagara-Wheatfield general fund, she said.