DOWNEY - The Downey Unified School District completed a refinancing of $12.1 million in voter-approved general obligation bonds on Tuesday.The district took advantage of favorable interest rates which will amount to a gross debt service savings to taxpayers of more than $1 million, school district officials said. The bonds refinanced were part of the district's 1996 General Obligation Bond Series C&E sales as well as the Series A bond sales from the 2002 election. The bonds were refinanced with a combined all-inclusive interest rate of 3.345%. Downey's strong credit rating led to investor confidence and made the school district's refinance offering an attractive investment, school officials said. Standard & Poor's, an industry-leading rating agency, affirmed the DUSD's bond rating of AA- based on "the management and fiscal stability of the District." The 2002 Measure D received a 67% voter-approval from voters. Downey's expansive school modernization and construction projects have included a new science building and new classrooms at Downey High School; renovations to the old counseling areas to create 14 new classrooms and construction of a new science building and library/classroom building at Warren High; complete renovation and 10 new classrooms at Lewis Elementary; 10 new classrooms at Alameda Elementary; 13 new classrooms at Unsworth Elementary; new athletic facilities at Downey and Warren high schools; and district-wide upgrades of electrical wiring for new technology, plumbing infrastructure and seismic safety and handicap access. A Citizens Oversight Committee reviewed all expenditures and approved independent audits to ensure taxpayer accountability. "The district continues to make every effort to be good stewards of taxpayer dollars," said DUSD superintendent Dr. Wendy Doty. "At a time when dollars for education are scarce, saving taxpayers over $1 million is a strong statement by the Board of Education to the community." "Investors are looking for solid investment opportunities in today's market," commented Lynn Paquin, executive vice president of George K. Baum & Company, a privately-owned investment bank which handled the transaction for the DUSD. "Downey has proven to be a safe investment."
********** Published: June 2, 2011 - Volume 10 - Issue 7