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Local bank wins school bonds bid

A local bank won the bidding war for $5 million worth of Clovis Municipal School bonds, the school board voted at Tuesday night’s meeting.

James Baker and Associates and the Bank of Clovis out-bid seven other companies for the right to buy the bonds voters approved in a March election for school structural improvements.

“It was our boards intention to give back to the city of Clovis,” Bank of Clovis President Randy Harris told the board.

The bonds will mature between 2005-2018 at a true interest cost of 3.687 percent. At that rate, the total repayment for taxpayers will be more than $7.1 million. The bid was less than the school officials 4 percent estimate.

“I believe it makes a stronger statement that you have a local bank that is reporting the interest for the bond issue,” Clovis Schools Superintendent Neil Nuttall said. “Most of the time those bonds are bought by someone in New York City or Chicago or somewhere like that.”

In the bond resolution adopted by the school board, each school must submit an annual financial report to the bank.

The interest rate is less than in previous bond elections by more than 1 percent. According to a report from the school, the 1996 bond rate was 4.86 percent. For the 2000 bond worth $8 million, the interest rate was 5.313 percent.

The board also discussed a 2002-2003 School District Report Card, a 90-page report required by state law. The report contains student achievement, student attendance and student dropout rate. The document also reports information about parent/community involvement and quality of education survey results.

Cindy Martin, Director of the Instructional Resource Center in Clovis, said the report is available for public viewing at the administration offices on Main Street.