Changes to interest rates in recent months may give Westerville City Schools some additional money for capital projects.

Changes to interest rates in recent months may give Westerville City Schools some additional money for capital projects.

At Monday's Westerville Board of Education meeting, Pat King, vice president of Wachovia Securities, outlined a plan to sell State and Local Government Series securities (SLGS) and use the proceeds to buy back pre-refunded bonds from the 2001 bond issue. The transaction would result in a savings for the district.

"Due to the inefficiency of today's market, district's SLGS are worth more than the municipal bonds they are paying off," King told the board.

Under the assumption that they could buy back a little less than half of the bonds, the district could make $400,000 on the transaction, based on today's market rates, King said. If those rates change significantly over the next two weeks, Wachovia would not proceed.

Any profit from the sale must be used for capital projects, said the district's bond counsel, Price Finley, of the law firm of Brickler & Eckler.

"This is a unique opportunity for the district," district treasurer Scott Gooding said. "The market has done some interesting things in the past few months. This would be a first for any school district in the state."

Board member Jeff Gale abstained from voting because he holds approximately $1,000 of those bonds in his personal portfolio.

In other business Monday, the board accepted the resignation of fellow board member Michael Collins, who was elected to the Ohio Board of Education Nov. 4. The board is currently soliciting applications from community members to serve the remaining year in Collins' term.

Information is available on the district's Web site at www.westerville.k12.oh.us. The deadline for applying is Dec. 3.

The board voted to purchase nine new 72-passenger buses to replace nine buses that are 14 years old at a cost of $629,565. The money will come from current capital funds.

The board also approved the retirements of Kevin Campbell, a 21-year employee in the maintenance department, and Jacqueline Liles, currently a custodian at Heritage Middle School, who has been with the district for nearly 30 years.

cpreston@thisweeknews.com