SIKESTON - Area residents can invest in education, literally.
The Scott County Central School District Board of Education has instructed its municipal bond underwriter, L.J. Hart and company of St. Louis, to make the $1.9 million General Obligation Bond available to local individual and institutional investors.
"We appreciate the strong vote of confidence we received from local patrons at the election and want the bonds to be available to them," said Board of Education President Mark Freed.
Freed said the new money General Obligation Bonds were approved by nearly 65 percent of the voters on April 6 to construct, equip and furnish additional classrooms, restrooms and storage space to develop a separate junior high school wing and to construct, equip and furnish a new gymnasium.
"Since interest rates are attractive right now and might increase in the future, the Board of Education wants to lock in rates as quickly as possible," added Jo Anne Northern, superintendent of schools. "At the same time, we want all local investors who are interested in these bonds to have an opportunity to purchase them, and we want to alert them in advance of our plans."
The Board of Education selected the negotiated sale of the bonds in order to capture current market conditions, to be certain that local individual investors and banks receive an opportunity to purchase the bond and, because the proposed interest rates are fair, based upon current conditions in the municipal bond market. "The district will compare proposed interest rates with the national bond indexes and other comparable Missouri issues and those of other states with a similar rating quality sold at competitive and negotiated sales to be certain that rates for the district's bonds are favorable," Northern said.
According to L.J. Hart and Company, the bonds are scheduled to mature from March 1, 2006, through March 1, 2018, with interest rates expected to range from 2 to 4.6 percent. The interest income from the bonds is exempt from federal and state of Missouri income taxes and are available in $5,000 denominations. These bonds will be sold on a first come, first served basis.
These bonds carry an AA+ rating from Standard and Poor's Corporation due to the district's participation in the State of Missouri Direct Deposit Program coordinated through the Missouri Health and Educational Facilities Authority.
If interest rates decline in the future, the district can capture the full benefit because the bonds have an optional redemption provision on March 1, 2009, at no penalty. The financing proceeds are expected to be available to the district by June 24.
For more information about the Series 2004 Bonds, call Northern at 471-2686 or L.J. Hart and Company toll-free at 1-800-264-4477 to request that a prospectus be promptly mailed.