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GHAPS eyes lower rate

Krystle Wagner • Jul 21, 2015 at 1:23 PM
kwagner@grandhaventribune.com 616-842-6400 ext. 226

The school district is in the process of lowering the interest rate on the remaining $9 million debt for its 2005-issued bond.

The current interest rate varies monthly between 3 and 5 percent. The lowered rate would vary between 3 and 4.25 percent.

Lisa Danicek, director of information services for Grand Haven Area Public Schools, said the lower rate is expected to save taxpayers about $340,000 over the final 10-year bond repayment. She said the district’s bond council estimates owners of a home with a taxable value of $100,000 would see $15 in savings annually for the next three years.

In about three weeks, an official rate from the district’s bond attorneys and underwriters will be available. Danicek said the market is favorable, and the district is optimistic that estimates will return as expected.

“It’s a great opportunity for us to re-up them at some savings for our taxpayers,” she said.

If the rate doesn’t save about 2 percent, the district won’t proceed further, Danicek said.

In 2005, Grand Haven school district voters approved a bond of more than $16 million that paid for a new athletic complex at the high school; improvements to middle school athletic facilities; security cameras and defibrillators in all buildings; and improved bus and parent pick-up and drop-off areas at Ferry, Lake Hills and Robinson elementary schools, Lakeshore Middle School, and Central High School.

The district has lowered the interest rates on bonds passed in 1995, 1998, 2003, 2005, 2008 and 2011.

Superintendent Keith Konarska said lowering interest rates along with a “strong tax base” has allowed the district to maintain the lowest total school tax levy in Ottawa County.

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