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Money saver: Bond bids to save Hancock school district about $675,000

Shawna Conroy and her daughter Greta look at a drawing during a March 2018 informational meeting about the Hancock School District building project. File photo/Stevens County Times

It will cost Hancock School District taxpayers $675,000 less than expected to pay for a construction project because the bond interest rate was lower than projected, said Kelly Smith of Springsted, a public education financial consulting firm.

The district's school board approved a bid of 3.006 percent interest on a $7.8 million bond sold to Stifel, Nicolaus and Company, based in St. Louis, Missouri, during its Jan. 28 meeting.

Smith said Springsted projected an interest rate of 3.6 percent in December based on the interest rate trends and other factors. "Ultimately we ended up with (a rate) almost 6/10ths of a percent lower," Smith said.

The difference between a 3.6 percent interest rate and a 3.006 percent rate is about $675,000, Smith said.

"That's good news. That's a lot of money (saved) over 20 years," Smith said.

"It's really good news," Hancock superintendent Loren Hacker said. "The board was really happy about that."

Hacker said the Hancock bond had seven bidders. The highest bid was about 3.25 percent interest, he said.

One of the next steps in the voter-approved project is for the district's construction manager Andy Faulkner of ICS Constructing to receive bids for pieces of the construction, Hacker said.

The district recently had a walk-through of the building for prospective bidders. "We had over 20 vendors show up," Hacker said. "Seeing that many means there is a lot of interest from various contractors out there."

The district is working with a construction manager so the manager can gather the bids, review the bids and make recommendations to the school board. The board has the final approval on bids, Hacker said.

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