WATSONVILLE -- Pajaro Valley school leaders approved Wednesday the sale of up to $80 million in bonds, more than half the $150 million authorized by voters in November.
The bond proceeds will go toward an ambitious plan to improve schools throughout the 20,000-student Pajaro Valley Unified School District.
Ground could be broken for the first projects, likely new playground equipment for elementary schools and solar power installations, this spring and summer, said Chief Business Officer Brett McFadden. He said modernization and construction projects that include more design work and approval by the Division of the State Architect won't get started before 2014.
McFadden said interest rates won't be known until the bonds are actually sold, but are expected to be in the range of 2.3 percent to 2.5 percent.
The term will be 35 years, with a provision for early payoff if funding is available.
The cost to property owners once all bonds are sold will be a maximum of $38.50 per $100,000 of assessed valuation.
McFadden is trying to act quickly because there are proposals in Sacramento to cap bond terms, possibly to 25 years. The proposals were prompted by deals, such as one in Poway Unified, where the district borrowed $105 million for 40 years, resulting in a nearly $1 billion total payout to taxpayers.
But McFadden said under a scenario with a 25-year term cap the district wouldn't be able to sell the last bond series until
He said even with the longer term, the payout will be about $350 million for the entire $150 million bond series, about 2.3 times the borrowed amount, a ratio less than most homeowners pay on a mortgage.
In other action, trustees:
The district will pay off the $871,000 purchase with annual payments through 2018.
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