Ridgefield School District refinances bonds


The Ridgefield School District has taken advantage of low bond interest rates that the district stated will save taxpayers more than $2.5 million over the next 10 years. 

A sale of bonds authorized by the district’s board of directors will refinance bonds issued in 2012 that paid for renovations and an expansion at Ridgefield High School, as well as expansions at Union Ridge and South Ridge elementary schools, stated a news release.

According to the release, the overall borrowing rate for the new bonds sold on Sept. 20 is 3.08%, as opposed to the previous rate of 4.52%.

“This is a great opportunity to save our taxpayers a significant amount of money,” stated Superintendent Nathan McCann in the release. “This money will now stay in our community and local economy rather than pay interest on bonds.”

Despite the volatility in the bond market of the past couple months, the release stated the interest rates on the bonds are still low, which allows the refinancing to exceed the board’s saving target, according to the district’s Executive Director of Business Services, Paula McCoy.

“We have been monitoring the market closely over the past year to identify the best opportunity to refinance the district’s 2012 bonds,” McCoy stated in the release. “We are very happy to be able to provide significant savings to the district taxpayers.”

The district also received a strong credit rating of “Aa3” from Moody’s Investors Service as part of the sale. Moody’s highlighted the district’s voter support for operating levies as a credit strength, but noted recent bond measure failures “have the potential to escalate as a credit issue given the rapid student enrollment growth and facility needs,” the release stated.

“This refinancing is one more way to demonstrate to our community our commitment to fiscal stewardship of the funds entrusted to us,” stated Joe Vance, the president of the board of directors, in the release. “We want our community to know that we do everything we can to minimize the costs of our bonds.”