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COS saves local taxpayers $12million

COS saves local taxpayers $12million

@TheSunGazette

visalia — College of the Sequoias (COS) completed a refinancing of bonds last week that will save taxpayers in Hanford, Visalia and Tulare more than $12 million. Dale Scott & Company (DS&C) served as the financial advisor to help the district refinance the bonds and take advantage of lower interest rates without lengthening the payback period.

COS refinanced $46 million from four series of general obligation bonds across its three improvement areas – Hanford, Visalia and Tulare – cutting interest rates nearly in half and saving local taxpayers $12.2 million. Hanford taxpayers will save $3.4 million from refinancing $13.5 million of Measure C general obligation bonds that were approved by district voters in 2006. The interest rate of the new bonds was reduced from 5 percent to 2.78 percent.

Taxpayers in Visalia, Farmersville, Exeter, Woodlake and surrounding communities will save $5.4 million from refinancing $18.2 million of two series of Measure I general obligation bonds that were approved by district voters in 2008. The interest rates of the refinanced bonds, Series A and Series C, were reduced from 5.39 percent to 2.84 percent and 5.84 percent to 3.42 percent, respectively.

Taxpayers in Tulare, Lindsay, Corcoran and surrounding communities will save $3.3 million from refinancing $14.2 million of Measure J general obligation bonds that were approved by district voters in 2008. The interest rate of the new bonds was reduced from 5.40 percent to 2.86 percent.

“We closely monitored the interest rate market and took action to maximize savings for our district residents,” said Stan Carrizosa, superintendent/president, COS. “By bundling the bonds, we were able to save even more on staff time and issuance costs.”

The voter-approved bond measures provided funds to build permanent educational centers in Hanford and Tulare, and to refurbish and upgrade facilities on the Visalia campus, among several other educational improvements for residents of Tulare and Kings counties.

“It’s money back in the pockets of the taxpayers and we’re really happy that this worked out in this manner,” said Christine Statton, vice president of administrative services, COS.

“It makes a difference, even if it’s a dollar,” echoed Lori Cardoza, trustee, COS.

COS is a two-year community college offering educational and career technical programs for the residents of its district in Tulare and Kings counties. In addition to the campus in Visalia, COS operates a full-service center in Hanford that is home to the college’s police and fire academies. COS also opened its Tulare College Center in January 2013. It is a full-service college center and the home of COS’ agriculture and other programs. For more information about COS, visit our www.cos.edu.

“College of the Sequoias prioritized taxpayer savings throughout the refinancing process, and it clearly paid off,” said Mark Farrell, senior financial advisor, DS&C. “Savings across all three districts surpassed even our own projections.”

DS&C is a leading independent financial advisory firm that guides California school and community college districts through the bond financing process while protecting local taxpayers. For more information, visit www.DaleScott.com.

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