Florence taxpayers save $5.5M from bond refinancing

Florence, SC - FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) - Taxpayers have been spared more than $5.5 million in the City of Florence following the refund of $99 million and new-money revenue bonds for its water and sewer system.

City of Florence leaders say the refunding bonds will save the city's utility system more than $5.5 million by refinancing bonds originally issued in 1993 and 2000. The bonds included $31,005,000 of refunding bonds and $67,995,000 of new-money bonds.

Thomas Chandler, finance director for the City of Florence, said throughout the refinancing process, the city was able to obtain an interest rate lower than expected on bonds for new construction.

A total of 10 competitive bids were received for the refunding bonds, according to the City of Florence. UBS Financial Services of New York submitted the winning bid with the lowest interest cost of 3.27 percent. The refunding bonds will mature from 2010-2024.

The proceeds from the new-money borrowing will be used to complete the rehabilitation of the wastewater treatment facility, as well as expand treatment capacity at what will now be known as the Florence Regional Wastewater Management Facility.

Ramirez and Co. from New York submitted the winning bid as taxable Build America Bonds, with the lowest interest cost of 3.96 percent.

The new-money bonds will mature from 2025-2039.

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