Si View Metropolitan Park District Refinances Bonds, saves taxpayers money

Si View Parks shared some good news this week. And its news voters/taxpayers, who have overwhelmingly supported the local Parks District for the past decade, might enjoy hearing.

Si View Metropolitan Park District, which includes City of North and Fire District 38 residents, recently completed the refinancing of the 2010 Unlimited Tax General Obligation Bonds. The 2010 voter approved bonds were issued on December 3, 2010 for the purpose of financing renovations to the Si View Community Center, improvements to District parks, and access and park improvements at Tollgate Farm.

The 2010 interest rates were 4.35% to 4.75% for maturities of 2021 to 2030. The District stated that it researched refinancing options and selected JP Morgan Chase Bank for a direct purchase – with a new fixed interest rate of 1.98% for the remaining 14 years AND total net savings of $325,833.

Executive Director Travis Stombaugh said the District timed the refinancing near a historic low in interest rates. He explained the concept of refinancing a bond is similar to refinancing your mortgage at lower interest rates.

Stombaugh commented, “We are very pleased with the interest cost savings and continually strive to act in ways that are fiscally responsible, saving money for our taxpayers, while providing quality services”.

“The low interest rate quote is a positive reflection on the strength of the local economy, financial management, and the financial resources for Si View Metropolitan Park District,”according to Finance Manager Scott Loos.

The District’s current bond rating grade is AA, which is considered high investment grade. Scott Loos worked closely with Jim Nelson of D.A. Davidson’s Public Finance Department to structure the refinancing, compile supporting documents, answer questions from various banks, and select the bank.

The Si View Metropolitan Parks District was created and approved by voters in February 2003 after King County Parks closed Si View due to budget constraints. Voters in North Bend and surrounding unincorporated areas of Fire District 38 approved a levy at 72% to fund the Parks District so that the community center and pool would not sit unused. Subsequent levies run by the district have also passed at similar percentage rates.

 

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