Muhlenberg weighs refinancing options to benefit district

MUHLENBERG TWP., Pa. - Muhlenberg School District board, in a meeting Wednesday night continued its discussion on the bond refinancing options and opportunities available to the  district.

The board listened to a presentation by Scott Kramer of RBC Capital and at the end of the meeting, it was recommended that the board lock in a rate in December since interest rates are currently low.

The board concluded that doing so would give the district savings of $500,000 from the bond, while eliminating the risk that the amount could go down should rates rise as predicted over the next few years.

The board discussed all options regarding different scenarios with rates and will continue to meet with RBC on the matter.

The savings would likely be spread out over many years and be used to help with extra costs that appear on future budgets.

Currently, the board is getting ready to make a decision by October on what action to take regarding the bonds.

The district also received an update on HVAC work being done at the high school.

Though the project is still somewhat behind schedule overall, the building will be able to open on time and use of classrooms and library will be available, according to Greg Schneider, coordinator of Buildings, Grounds and Transportation for the school district.

Schneider said it is possible that small projects could be found during inspections the architects will perform, but those could be done outside of school hours and they will not interfere with students or their education.

"People are pleased with what they've seen so far, and the workmanship has been great," said Schneider.

The board also expressed its satisfaction with the food service department over the last year.

Otto Voit, board member, commended the department on an "outstanding job on the budget and on providing quality service,"

With summer nearly behind them, the board and administration said they were looking forward to the resumption of school sessions once again.

"I'm really excited for the kids to be getting on the buses and be filling our halls again. We have great kids and it will be good to have them back," said Joseph Macharola, superintendent.

 At Wednesday's meeting, the school board also approved that its membership be renewed on the National School Boards Association for a fee of $4,165.

Members also authorized Macharola to sign contracts, agreements, grants or licenses electronically.

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