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Van Dyke Public Schools 2019 refunding bonds sold

By: Maria Allard | Warren Weekly | Published May 24, 2019

WARREN — On May 16, the Van Dyke Public Schools Board of Education announced the sale of its 2019 refunding bonds in the amount of $7.175 million.

The bonds are being issued for the purpose of refunding the remaining financial portion of Van Dyke’s outstanding $62.6 million bond issue that passed in 2008.

The 2019 refunding bonds reduced the school district’s interest expense by over $958,631 for the taxpayers and will occur through lower debt payments over the next 21 years.

In preparing to sell the refunding bonds, the school district worked with its municipal adviser, PFM Financial Advisors LLC. School officials requested that Standard & Poor’s Global Ratings, via Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC, evaluate Van Dyke’s credit quality.

Standard & Poor’s assigned the district the underlying rating of “A-” and “stable.” The bonds also were qualified through the state’s School Bond and Qualification Program, which further identified the district’s bond rating as “AA.”

Van Dyke’s financing was conducted by the Michigan investment banking office of the brokerage firm Stifel; the financial advising firm PFM Financial Advisors LLC; and the law firm serving as bond counsel, Miller, Canfield, Paddock and Stone PLC. The school district’s 2019 refunding bonds were sold at a true interest rate of 3.38% with a final maturity of 2040.

“Van Dyke Public Schools’ bonds were well-received by the bond market,” Stifel Managing Director Brodie Killian said in a prepared statement. “We were able to take advantage of current low interest rates that met the goals of the district and resulted in a nice savings that will be passed on to the district’s taxpayers.”

According to district Superintendent Piper Bognar, the rate of savings for taxpayers will change with the taxable values.  

“It is predicted that the rate will stay at what it is currently for about three years, and then it is predicted to continue to decrease by up to about 2 mills,” she said in an email. “This is dependent on taxable values.”

Extensive work was completed in all of the district’s school buildings under the 2008 bond initiative, including renovations at the schools, the athletics addition at Lincoln High School, and the construction of the Lincoln Career and Technology Mark A. Kedzior Center.