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Competitive bidding, favorable bond interest rates help bring down referendum’s impact

Stacy Childers, municipal adviser for Springsted Incorporated, presented sale results to the Red Wing School Board at Monday evening’s meeting. Springsted solicited bids on a competitive basis on behalf of the Red Wing Public Schools in the amount $22,615,000 to finance current and long-term maintenance needs across facilities, focusing on operational efficiencies and building and site improvements.

The bond sale resolution was approved by a rollcall vote of 6-0, accounting for the absence of board member Heidi Jones.

Childers reported that four bids were received.

“Bids are awarded based on a true interest cost basis to reflect the time value of money,” she said. Robert W. Baird & Co. Inc. submitted the lowest bid. From highest to lowest, the spread between bidders was 0.264.

“In terms of your district’s bonds, that would be an additional $700,000 in interest paid that you would pay between the lowest and higher bidder, which is significant; that is real money,” Childers said.

Comparing the true interest cost of 3.191 percent that was projected on the spring referendum ballot, the final interest cost came out at 2.474 percent.

“In terms of the projected tax impact to your taxpayers, we were estimating around $64 per year, and that has dropped down to $59,” Childers said, using a home valued at $150,000 as the example. “Once we get actual market values for next year, assuming that you are continuing your growth trend, that will also reflect in that tax impact.”

The total interest paid over the life of the bonds is about $1,500,000 less than what Springsted anticipated when the projections were first started.

“Whenever we can say that the taxpayers are paying less, that is wonderful new,” said Board Chair Janie Farrar.

With the resolution’s approval, Springsted will coordinate the closing with district staff and expect the bond issue to be delivered Aug. 18.

Construction update

Kevin Johnson, Red Wing Public School director of Buildings, Grounds, and Technology, presented updates on projects throughout the district, many of them courtesy of the voter-approved referendum:

•The Burnside walking path is tentatively scheduled to be completed this summer, with money raised during Burnside students’ “Pave the Path” campaign. City of Red Wing will do the work.

•Final design is being completed after a bid was approved for a pool dehumidification system replacement at Twin Bluff Middle School. In addition, the lower half of the pool walls were painted.

•TBMS intercom and bell system work is planned for this summer.

•A irrigation well at Red Wing High School is tentatively scheduled to be completed this summer. Johnson is collecting information to develop a request for proposals, used to solicit bids.

•The construction of a solar garden at RWHS has a goal to be ready this fall.

•Sealcoating of the asphalt walkways around the stadium concessions stand area at RWHS will be completed this summer.

•Parts have been ordered for playground repairs at Burnside and Sunnyside schools.

•District network switches, firewall, and storage area network will be replaced this summer. Parts have arrived and work will commence shortly.

•The corridor ceiling outside of the Burnside gym area is planned for this summer.

•Parts have been ordered for a cell phone booster at TBMS.

•Outside air control work at RWHS is in progress.

•A boiler has been ordered and vendor selected for installation at Colvill.

•A resurfacer is tentatively planned to arrive at Prairie Island Arena before the ice season begins.

•A broadcast system will be installed to provide video for the two educational channels. The technology department is working with the city of Red Wing on the possibility of sharing the city’s system.

•Work on the environmental control unit for the data center at TBMS is in progress.