WILMINGTON AREA School board considers bond refinance options

The elementary principal has resigned to accept a position in Florida.
NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. -- The Wilmington Area School Board is looking to save nearly $400,000 by refinancing $10 million in general obligation bonds from 2000.
School directors need to choose an investment company to aid the district in the process.
The board heard presentations Monday from representatives of Parker Hunter, a division of Montgomery Scott, and Public Financial Management Inc., regarding the refinancing.
Both investors advised the district that selling the bonds in October could save the district more than $380,000.
They told the board a wise financial decision to refinance is if the savings to the district would be 2 percent or higher. Wilmington's savings would yield between 3 and 4 percent.
The bonds were purchased in 2000 for the renovations of East Lawrence, Pulaski and Wilmington elementary schools.
District Solicitor Attorney Charles Mansell said after reviewing the information, "Both firms are pretty equal from a financial point of view."
Business Manager Jennifer Conrad said a decision would need to be made soon so all paper work can be readied for the bond sale. Oct. 17 is the first date the district is eligible to sell the bonds.
"The sooner the better to lock into a low interest rate." Conrad said.
Public Financial Management has worked with the district on previous bond sales and purchases.
The board will meet Monday for other business and will place the selection of an investment company on the agenda.
Principal resigns
In other matters, school officials announced the resignation of elementary Principal George Leidigh, who is leaving Sept. 30 after six years in the district.
Leidigh accepted a grant coordinator position for the St. John's County School District in St. Augustine, Fla.
"Leaving here is bittersweet," Leidigh said. "I will greatly miss being here. There is no other district I would want to work for in this area, but I am looking forward to my new challenge."
Board President Nancy Bretz told Leidigh, "It's been a joy working under you as mother of three students, member of PTO and a school board member. You will be missed.".
The board authorized middle school Principal Ben Fennick to be assigned additional administration responsibilities. Fennick will be paid an additional $30 per day effective Oct. 3.
Superintendent Dr. C. Joyce Nicksick said the district also would hire an acting head teacher to help while the board takes time to hire a replacement for Leidigh.

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