Piqua schools refinance bonds


By Aimee Hancock - Miami Valley Today



PIQUA — Piqua Board of Education treasurer Jeremie Hittle shared information during the board’s Feb. 27 meeting about Piqua City Schools’ new, recently locked-in interest rates as part of a refinance to portions of the district’s Series 2012 Bonds.

According to Hittle, this will save homeowners and businesses in the district $1,376,578 over the next 20 years. The Series 2012 Bonds were issued for the construction of a new four- through six-grade school building and two new pre-kindergarten through third-grade school buildings.

This savings is generated by lowering the interest costs that taxpayers will be paying over the life of the bonds. According to a press release, the district achieved an all-in interest rate of 2.86 percent over the life of the new loan.

According to Hittle, these are impressive results for the Piqua City School District. The refunding bonds have the same final maturity of Dec. 1, 2040, as the refunded bonds.

The bond industry standard considers a refinancing economically feasible when the net present value savings as a percentage of the refunded bond paramount exceeds 3 to 5 percent, the press release states. The net present value savings of the district’s reduction in interest represents a savings of 8.49 percent.

The savings will lower the millage required to be collected and future payments that taxpayers will make on the bonds will be lower.

“Our team was able to act quickly to lock in the historically low rates,” Hittle said. “We have been planning this for the last few months and we were waiting for the right time to make our move. Fortunately, we were able to see greater than average savings helping all taxpayers of Piqua.”

Also during the meeting, board member Andy Hite shared an Upper Valley Career Center update.

“Lots of neat things are happening,” Hite said. “(UVCC) held an open house for sophomores a couple weeks ago and this year they had 692 applications filed that night, over 100 more than last year.”

According to Hite, by 2028, it is predicted that there will be 3 million job vacancies in skilled trades throughout the country.

“We’re working with the apprenticeship program, which is a model for the state,” Hite said. “One of the problems we’ve had with students getting into the apprenticeship program is that many don’t have transportation to get to their jobs, so we’ve got a deal with AAA to provide driver’s education training to those who need to get their drivers license.”

Hite said the AAA deal will allow the students to do the classroom portion of driver’s education online, then students will have an option to do the driving portion before or after school, with driving instructors picking them up at home and dropping them off at school after the lesson, or vice versa.

Washington Primary Principal Tracy Trogdlon shared an update with the board regarding the school’s Success Bound initiatives.

“We want our students to be successful in school and we want them to be successful members of society after they leave school,” she said. “A lot of research has gone into saying that a lot of what makes students feel important and what makes them motivated to come to school is relationships with adults.”

Trogdlon said Washington Primary is strengthening these relationships through clubs.

“The teachers have interests outside of school that they enjoy doing, so they started a club based on their own interests and then the students will pick clubs that they, too, are interested in,” Trogdlon said. “So, there’s immediately a connection between them and through those clubs, we’re teaching them readiness skills, like collaboration, respect and responsibility in that relationship with that teacher.”

The board approved the following donations:

• $150 from Main Street Piqua to PHS marching band

• $5,000 from Vernon Adkins to PHS athletics

• $300 from Unity Bank to PCIS Grade Six Olympics

• $300 from PolySource to PCIS Grade Six Olympics

• $300 from Hartzell Propeller to PCIS Grade Six Olympics

• $300 from Dick Lumpkin Auto Body to PCIS Grade Six Olympics

• $2,466.25 from Red and Blue Association to PCS Alumni Nation

The board approved the following grants:

• $50,000 from Lundgard to PHS/auditorium seating

• $395.57 from Miami County Solid Waste District to PJHS Recycling Program

• $490.97 from Miami County Solid Waste District to Springcreek Primary Recycling

• $499.83 from Miami County Solid Waste District to PHS plastic art project

• $500 from Miami County Solid Waste District to NHS Recycling Program

In other business, the board:

• Approved the disposal of technology equipment that is either damaged or no longer in use, much of which was stripped for parts.

• Approved a number of staff retirements, leaves, and hirings, along with approval of substitutes, game workers, supplemental contracts, and volunteers.

• Announced the spring musical, “Tarzan.” Tickets are available on the school’s website, at www.piqua.org.

The next board meeting is set for Wednesday, March 26, at 6 p.m.

By Aimee Hancock

Miami Valley Today

Reach the writer at ahancock@aimmediamidwest.com. © 2020 Miami Valley Today, all rights reserved.

Reach the writer at ahancock@aimmediamidwest.com. © 2020 Miami Valley Today, all rights reserved.