County refinances old bonds, sells new bonds at lower interest rate
County officials say favorable bond ratings allowed them to sell $98.8 million in bonds for new projects and refinance old loans and bonds in a way that will save about $8.5 million over the life of the bonds.
“Our county found itself in a great position – with a trio of positive ratings and the excellent market conditions for municipal bonds, we could refinance some of our pre-existing obligations for a lower cost,” Finance Director Nancy Crawford said. “The savings we realize with this bond issuance will free up resources to do more for the people of Hawaii Island.”
Three major rating agencies, Moody’s, Standard & Poor’s and Fitch, gave the high ratings. The combined interest rate on the bonds was 2.58 percent.
About $27.5 million of the bonds was new money obtained to fund projects the County Council has already approved, including improvements to the Edith Kanakaole Multipurpose Stadium in Hilo, the Laaloa Avenue Extension in Kona and an islandwide public safety radio upgrade.