Commission to consider refinancing bonds to save

HARLINGEN — Officials here are planning to save about $2.8 million.

Today, city commissioners will consider refinancing $25.7 million in bonds at lower interest rates to save the big bucks.

“We’re trying to position ourselves to take advantage of the market and lower interest rates,” City Manager Dan Serna said yesterday. “This is an opportunity for the city to realize some savings.”

First Southwest, the city’s financial adviser in San Antonio, has recommended the city refinance bonds issued in 2006 and 2007.

Anne Burger Entrekin, the company’s managing director, recommended officials refinance the bonds amid market forces that have driven down interest rates to about 3.5 percent.

Officials plan to refinance $2.1 million in 2006 general obligation bonds to save $165,000, Serna said.

Serna said officials will consider refinancing $15.8 million in 2007 certificates of obligation to save $1.7 million.

Officials also plan to refinance $7.8 million in 2007 general obligation bonds to save $856,000, Serna said.

The outstanding 2006 general obligation bonds were sold as part of a $3.27 million bond package in 2006 to fund street, drainage and sidewalk improvements, the relocation of a railroad right-of-way and fire department upgrades.

The bonds were sold at interest rates ranging from 4 percent to 4.25 percent, with a maturity date of 2027.

The refinanced bonds would mature in 2027.

Further information regarding the 2007 certificates of obligation and the 2007 general obligation bonds was not readily available yesterday.