MUSCODA - The Riverdale School Board voted at their Special Board Meeting held on April 26 to move ahead with plans to construct a girls softball field on district property. The possibility of constructing a softball field was made possible by refinancing two bonds, one from 2013 and another from 2014. Refinancing the 2013 will free up some financial space in the general operating budget and refinancing the 2014 energy exemption bond will reduce the district tax levy to local taxpayers. The softball field will be located on the corner of 2nd and Division street.
This opportunity arose while preparing to finance the recently approved $4,880,000 referendum project. The school district can refinance the two existing bonds from 2013 & 2014, obtain financing for the softball field at the same time we sell bonds for the $4,880,000 referendum project. The referendum project and softball field remain two separate projects both in scope and financing.
Currently, the girls softball team practices and plays its games at Jaycees park. By constructing a softball field on district property we can ensure our facilities match the field the boys baseball team plays their games on at Pickering Park. This is a need that the district has been trying to address for some time.
The district is looking at borrowing an approximately $350,000 general obligation promissory note for the softball project separate from the referendum project and will be combined with the refunding of the 2013 and 2014 bonds. This takes advantage of historical low interest rates and also of the district high Moody’s Aa3 rating. The district will be looking at grants and fundraising opportunities to lower the cost.
In other district business the board voted to levy the full $315,000 for the first five years of the referendum and then reduce the debt payment to approximately $280,000 per year beginning in 2027. This is possible because the current interest rates are at 1.72 percent instead of the 2.5 percent projected rate.“This is a great opportunity for girls softball players, high school and youth, to play on facilities that equals our boys. This facility along with the referendum improvements that will take place will be a great addition to our Junior High/High School campus and our community”. Jon Schmidt, District Administrator. The goal is to have the field ready for games for the 2022 softball season.