Richmond County school board approves $130 million bond sale

The Richmond County Board of Education approved the sale of $130 million in bonds Wednesday, which will generate revenue to begin construction projects under phase IV of the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax program.

The district can use money generated from the bond sale to begin the projects rather than wait for money to trickle in over the next five years under the 1-cent sales tax, board President Alex Howard said.

The school system had its underlying credit rating upgraded by Standard & Poors from an A+ to an AA-, a good score that affects the rate and amount of interest that must be paid and whether bonds can be sold for more than face value, board attorney Pete Fletcher said.

Because of a good credit rating, the interest rating to the school system is 1.16 percent, a historic low, he said.

While the school system will issue only $130 million in bonds, the dollars obtained higher than the bond’s face value and good credit will result in $143 million in cash for construction.

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