Pelham approves $32.2 million bond issuance

The city of Pelham secured $35 million in financing for the Pelham City School System, city officials confirmed. (File)

The city of Pelham secured $35 million in financing for the Pelham City School System, city officials confirmed. (File)

By MOLLY DAVIDSON / Staff Writer

PELHAM—The city of Pelham secured $35 million in financing for the new Pelham City School System, approving a more than $32.2 million bond issue during an Aug. 4 meeting.

“The par value is $32.2 million, but… the net proceeds of the bond issue is roughly $35 million,” Pelham City Council President Rick Hayes explained during an Aug. 5 phone interview.

The funds generated by the bond issue will go directly to the Pelham City School System to “take our schools to the next level” and fund capital projects such as construction of facilities and improving existing school buildings, Hayes explained.

The new school system recently approved a $1.7 million land purchase and expressed plans to construct a new elementary school.

Additionally, money to pay back the bond issue will not come out of city funds, Hayes said, explaining “it will come out of funds that were already identified to be used for the schools,” such as the revenue generated by the 1-cent sales tax enacted in September 2013.

Due to the city’s recent AAA bond credit rating by New York City-based financial services firm Standard and Poor’s, the city was able to secure a “very favorable interest rate,” Managing Director of Protective Securities Rory Hartley said, saving “several hundreds of thousands of dollars.”

Hartley noted the city’s work to compile and approve City of Pelham Financial Management Policies is what “took you over the top” and secured the highest AAA bond credit rating, and Hayes referred to the bond credit rating as “monumental.”

“This was a major issue and it saved a ton of money in the process,” Hayes said during the Aug. 4 meeting. “Having that extra money available for the kids was key here.”

“We live in a city where our City Council, Tom, Marsha and the people that had to put this together went the extra mile,” Pelham Board of Education President Rick Rhoades said. “They saved us $1.2 million, and that’s $1.2 million that will go directly to the children… it enables us to take a vision and make it a reality.”