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AA rating reflects well in intermediate school bond sales
By By Jill Meier
Challenger editor

January 24. 2014 6:00AM
The Brandon Valley School District’s stellar “credit rating” is already paying dividends on the cost of the district’s future intermediate school.

BVSD Business Manager Paul Lundberg said the district received a AA rating, which, he said, “reflects very well on this school we’ve been operating.”

Prior to the Dec. 3 election, the Bond Promotion Committee had circulated information that tagged the $5.95 million bond at 28 cents per $100,000 valuation. At the Board’s Jan. 13 meeting, Lundberg was excited to report the bonds were sold at 26 cents per $100,000 valuation, giving taxpayers a small break.

“Capital outlay certificates are usually dropped down, but they kept us at AA,” Lundberg said.

Lundberg said the district’s rating itself was worth about 40 points to the investor. The AA stable rating, he said, was worth another 20 points.

And having a five-year plan in place also helped the district earn the favorable rating.

“They were impressed (with the five-year plan), showing what we are going to do,” Lundberg said.

On Dec. 3, Brandon Valley voters overwhelmingly – 1,261 votes for, 384 votes against – authorized the district to borrow $5.95 million for the intermediate school. The bond will be repaid over 20 years.

Superintendent Dave Pappone said work is being finalized on the floor and site plans for the intermediate school.

“We’re on track for a March bid letting,” he said.

Bids will be awarded in April, and construction is expected to start in early May. The school will be built on land located west of Robert Bennis Elementary. It will house fifth- and sixth-graders, taking fifth-graders out of the elementary school and sixth-graders out of the middle school. Those moves will create more breathing room for the existing schools, Pappone said.
Audit report
More good news surfaced from the district business office, as the FY 2013 audit report was also favorable.

“This was the best-ever audit, not that our other audits haven’t been good,” Pappone said. “I want to give a public shout-out to Paul and his staff, Merry Bauer and Jim Schobert, for all they do. (Because) clean audits don’t just happen – they’re earned.”

For years, the auditor has cited the need for a segregation of duties. But because of the small number of staff in the business office, that segregation was not possible.

“We finally, for the most part satisfied them to get that comment removed,” Lundberg said.





Bond sales for the upcoming intermediate school came were favorable for Brandon Valley School District taxpayers. The project was marketed to the public at $28 per $100,000 of valuation. The district's favorable rating brought it down to $26 per $100,000 of valuation. Challenger file photo



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