AMERICAN FORK -- Alpine School District went to the market with some bonds and came away with a good sale.
Capitalizing on a solid investment market, Alpine issued $30 million in general-obligation bonds Tuesday at a 5.29 percent interest rate.Seven investors entered bids before the 9:30 a.m. deadline to buy the bonds, which is the last $30 million of a $60 million public-revenue package approved by voters in 1998.
North Carolina-based Wachovia Securities entered the most attractive bid on the 15-year bonds. Alpine's Board of Education approved the sale to Wachovia Tuesday night.
"We are pleased with this," said Keith Bradford, Alpine's business administrator. "It shows a great respect that the investment community has for Alpine district bonds."
Alpine has an enviable Aa3 bond rating, one of the highest that can be given to a public entity on the bond market.
Moody's Investors Service, considered by bond buyers as reputable evaluators of investment risks, last year upgraded the district's bond rating from A1.
According to Bond Buyer, a publication for public financiers, the bond rating upgrade comes from the district's tax base, which has grown 20 percent since 1994. Analysts also noted the district's favorable debt profile and solid fiscal health.
Originally, district officials wanted to build two new elementary schools by 2000 and then spread out construction over a three-year period.
Overcrowding pushed the school board into approved the construction of four elementary schools and renovations at 17 others by 2001.
Foothill elementary in Orem opened last month. Three others -- in Lehi, Alpine and Pleasant Grove -- are now being built.
Combined with a $6.9 million leeway, the bond issuance increased property taxes $63.50 on a $100,000 home.
The last bond issuance has not yet been paid in full. About $39 million of a 1994 $98 million bond issuance was refunded last year to capture a lower interest rate.
The district's debt burden is 2.6 percent, with about 77 percent of the outstanding debt being retired in 10 years.