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School Board Moves Ahead with Refinancing

Hatboro-Horsham School District plans to cut debt by refinancing its bond program this summer.

The Hatboro-Horsham School Board on Monday night voted to refinance its bond program as a savings generator. 

The board unanimously approved a parameters resolution that would set in place boundaries for refinancing its 2008 bonds.

Chris Bamber, of Public Financial Management, explained to the board that bonds are typically eligible for refinancing within five years.

“We’re going for a lower interest rate for debt services just like you would do with a home mortgage,” Bamber said.

Monday’s resolution sets specific parameters for the bond program but final provisions will not be finalized immediately, as the market can change.

“Interest rates are low right now so this is a good time to refinance debt,” Bamber said. “But interest rates have been volatile since 2008, so we know that they can go wildly up and down. This resolution sets a box for the ultimate transaction.”

The parameters include the stipulation that the interest rate cannot exceed 6 percent and that the district have a minimum threshold savings of $450,000. The current savings stands at $536,000.

George Magnatta of Saul Ewing told the board that the interest rate will likely be locked in by mid-June and sale of the bonds can be closed in mid-July.

The school district recently , which calls for a 1.7 percent tax hike, as well as potential reductions in teaching staff.

In other business, the board unanimously approved the re-election of treasurer Marian McCouch.

The board additionally presented certificates of achievement to members of the , which staged the district’s first regional robotics competition in March. The team built its own robot and the court on which the robots faced off, in an event that brought more than 1,000 students and mentors to the high school.  

Team 708 was a finalist in the challenge and plans to host the competition again next year. 

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