Notice Regarding Sale of Bonds

December 7, 2022

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The following notice is being shared with the community in an effort to maintain community awareness and engagement around financial and facility decisions related to the Downsized Capital Improvement Plan. The Winnetka Public Schools is pleased to be moving into this next phase of planning for the construction projects at all five of our schools following the successful passage of the referendum. Hubbard Woods and Greeley Schools are scheduled for the first phases of work this summer. A successful referendum then results in the eventual sale of bonds to fund the project work. The Winnetka Public Schools’ Administration and Board of Education partner with PMA Financial Network and have utilized their guidance to determine the appropriate timing for the sale of our referendum bonds. Initial projections for timing of the sale of the bonds indicated three tranches, beginning with the first tranche in December 2022, the second in May 2023 and the third in March 2024. Given the ever-changing market, PMA has advised the District to shift to two tranches as a measure of efficiency and cost benefit. The financial strategy associated with the sale of these bonds was discussed in detail with PMA’s guidance at a November 29, 2022 Board Committee of the Whole meeting.

In preparation for the sale of bonds, the Administration participated in a bond rating call with Moody’s Investor Services on November 29, 2022 to begin the process of qualifying for an updated rating for the bonds. On December 6th, the District received word that it, once again, received a rating status of Aaa, the highest rating available.

Given PMA’s strategic guidance, the Board determined that the bonds would be sold in the recommended two tranches, the first at a value of $41.4 million, with a competitive sale scheduled for December 8, 2022. This method of sale is attractive for highly rated districts, and will be timed to align with the release of key financial reports from the Federal Reserve, as well as the release of the consumers price index the following week. A competitive sale puts the bonds out for bid, and the vendor with the lowest true interest cost is awarded the bid. A portion of these bonds would be callable after 9 years, allowing for the payment or refinancing of these bonds should the Board choose to take one of these actions after that point. The Board approved a resolution on the sale of these bonds at a special board meeting on December 6th. The recommended shift from three to two tranches causes no change to the communicated financial impact to the taxpayer. Ultimately this response to the market is the responsible process as fiduciaries to the taxpayer.

The second tranche (a value of $18 million) will be planned between June 2023 and February 2024, again seeking the best method of sale, and the most competitive rate environment given economic influences at that time.

Moody's Credit Opinion

Moody's Press Release