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Local

DeKalb School District 428 bond restructuring aimed to level out debt payments

DeKALB – Restructuring of a
$17 million portion of DeKalb School District 428’s $108 million bond debt accrued in 2018 is aimed at leveling out debt payments by pushing them out another eight years, district officials said.

A presentation on these restructuring plans was given during Tuesday’s board meeting by Elizabeth Hennessy of Raymond James and Associates and Adrienne Booker of Ehler Inc.

Cindy Carpenter, District 428 director of business and finance, said this is the second part of a multiyear plan to restructure the debt. Although the second part of this plan will not generate long-term savings, the restructuring of about $10 million in December was done for the interest savings, which was estimated to be about $1 million, she said.

“This does help to minimize the tax burden and stretch it out farther,” Carpenter said. “It doesn’t save dollars in the long run, but it stabilizes the tax rates.”

The district issued the bonds to fund a number of projects, including building Cortland Elementary School and the new DeKalb High School, and repurposing for Huntley Middle and Founders Elementary schools. The bond debt originally had been structured in 2007 and 2008 under the assumption of economic growth, but that changed once the recession hit.

Annual debt payments on a $150,000 home are anywhere from $501 to $875 through 2030, according to the presentation. Under this refinance, annual debt payments would be between $339 and $514 through 2038.

The restructuring of the remaining $80 million would be performed in December 2019. Carpenter said that depending on what the market will look like at that point, the district either could refinance the rest of the debt as a whole or do it in parts.

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