WORTHINGTON — Independent School District 518 will sell a portion of bonds voters authorized earlier this month sooner than anticipated in an effort to save taxpayers more than $4 million over the life of the bonds.

On Tuesday, the Board of Education unanimously approved a plan that's projected to save the district $4,250,000 in interest payments over the 20-year life of the bonds.

The cost savings is made possible in part by going to market in calendar year 2019 as opposed to 2020, as planned prior to the election, said Michael Hoheisel, Robert W. Baird & Co. Managing Director and the district's financial consultant.

“If we can lock this in as quick as possible, we know that we’re locking it in a much lower (interest) rate than anticipated,” Hoheisel said.

One of the December borrowings is projected to have a 2.63% interest rate, with the remainder voter-approved borrowing at a 2.77% interest rate. The rates are better than a 3.25% rate projected pre-election, Hoheisel said.

In other school board business, the board:

  • Recognized longtime member Steve Schnieder for being selected to the 2020 Minnesota School Boards Association All-State School Board.

  • Recognized Community Education Director Sharon Johnson for being named 2019 Region 2 Community Educator of Excellence at the Minnesota Community Education Association’s annual conference.

  • Approved a 20-year, $250,000 lease agreement with Minnesota West Community and Technical College for use of Trojan Field. The agreement also includes up to a $250 per game fee paid to the district for custodial services. Board member Mike Harberts cast the lone no vote. After the meeting, Harberts said he sent a lengthy email to board members explaining his no vote, but declined to comment publicly.

  • Approved three new paraprofessional positions.

  • Heard a proposal from student school board representative Adam Koller, who suggested that students caught with electronic-cigarette devices not only receive disciplinary action — as part of the district’s vaping policy — but also be offered treatment opportunities through the school district.