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Wasatch County school board issuing bonds to refinance debt

Wasatch County School District
Wasatch County School District

The Wasatch County Board of Education is set to refinance existing bonds at its meeting Thursday to save taxpayers money.

The school board meets Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at the school district offices. During the meeting, the board is scheduled to refinance $14.5 million of existing voter-approved bonds at a lower interest rate.

According to the notice on the district’s website, the reissued bonds will mature in not more than five years. Interest rates can’t exceed 5% a year.

In other proposed actions, the school board will consider adopting a resolution creating a local building authority for the Wasatch County School District. This is the first step the board must take if it intends to seek lease revenue bonds.

Lease revenue bonds differ from voter-approved general obligation bonds. The building authority essentially uses the school district’s buildings, rather than its ability to levy taxes, as collateral for the bonds. Even though lease revenue bonds don’t have to be approved by voters, they can come with a higher interest rate.

Lease revenue bonds can pay off any debt using a district’s existing revenue, the vast majority of which comes from property taxes. Lease revenue bonds can offer some flexibility for the district’s future budgets because the district can use many different funding sources to make the debt payments.

In other business, the Wasatch County School board is expected to approve next year’s budget, which includes the district funding pay increases for district employees.

All staff members, including teachers and administrators, will receive a 6% increase in their base salaries. For employees who receive health insurance benefits at the silver level, the district will continue to fund any increases. For those employees who want better health coverage, they will see a 3.5% increase in their insurance premiums.

The board is also scheduled to approve the negotiation agreements with its superintendent and business administrator. A copy of those agreements are not included in the agenda details, as they were for teachers and administrators.