Friday, June 08, 2001

Schools to save $700,000

By Jennifer Mrozowski
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        MASON — Mason City School District will save nearly $700,000 in interest payments on general obligation bonds thanks to a recent upgrade in the district's bond rating.

        The rating — changed from Aa3 to Aa2 — will reduce interest on the 20-year life of the district's $72 million bond issue for a new high school and community center.

        The rating change — by Moody's Investor Service in New York — affects the cost of borrowing, according to the district's bond underwriter firm, Seasongood and Mayer, downtown.

        Mason's bond rating upgrade reflects a rapidly expanding tax base, favorable financial operations that exhibit little stress from rapid enrollment growth and a recently approved phased-in levy for operating purposes, according to Moody's.

        “This comes at a good time as we issue bonds for the new high school,” said Treasurer Richard Gardner.

        “This rating results in a lower interest cost. It reduces the cost of the new high school and recreation center for taxpayers.”

        The $72 million bond is for a project partnered between the city of Mason and the school district.

        The plan includes a 355,000-square-foot high school, to open in September 2002, and a 140,800-square-foot recreation center with additional space for planned competition and leisure pools, to open in January 2003.

        The high school and recreation center will be built on a city-owned, 73-acre tract along Mason-Montgomery Road, between Main Street and Mason High School.


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