BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - A massive amount of money was saved for the city of Biloxi.
Nearly $1.5 million is how much the city will save over time with almost $400,000 in the next year. The fundamental reason this is possible is due to the refinancing of two bonds at significantly lower interest rates.
The first bond is in regard to the 2014 stadium that was issued to finance the city’s minor league baseball stadium. This step “will save more than a million dollars over the life of the original $21 million bond,” according to a press release issued by the city, while more than $400,000 will be saved from the original $14 million bonds by refinancing the 2014 infrastructure bonds also known as the “paving bond.” This bond was issued for locally financed infrastructure projects.
The city also said “it’s an issue that Mayor Andrew “FoFo” Gilich had been monitoring behind the scenes for several months, and now, in the midst of the coronavirus and as interest rates fell dramatically, he’s done the deed.”
“We’d been watching this for some time,” Gilich said, “and when the federal reserve lowered interest rates to zero earlier this month, we knew we had an opportunity to save taxpayers’ money in Biloxi.”
The request from the mayor to refinance the bonds were approved by the City Council and are set to close on June 8. Gilich said the bond should be paid off when they were originally supposed to— 2029 for the paving and 2034 for the stadium.
“The big savings is going to be on the annual debt service,” Gilich said. “We free up money both in the near term and the long term. We’ve done this before when the opportunity arises, and we’re also going to continue to seek similar opportunities as we move forward. It just makes good sense.”
The announcement from the city also noted that “interest rates on the refinanced 2014 stadium bonds, currently between 3.6 and 4.7 percent, will be reduced to about 2.18 percent. Interest rates on the 2014 infrastructure bonds, currently between 2.8 and 4.0 percent, will be reduced to 1.95 percent.”