By Will Johnson
Messenger Reporter

GRAPELAND – The Grapeland Independent School District Board of Trustees met in a special informational meeting on Thursday, June 29 to adopt “… an order authorizing the issuance of GISD unlimited tax school building bonds, Series 2017.”

After the meeting was called to order by GISD Board President Eddie Childress, Childress introduced Lewis A. Wilks, the Managing Director of Public Finance for U.S. Capital Advisors.

Wilks walked the board members through a recap of the process used to get to the issuance of the bonds.

The financial manager said the company took bids on June 29 and if the board approved the bids attorney Darrick Eugene would draw up the paperwork to submit to the attorney general’s office for approval. If everything was approved by the AG, Wilks said the district would “… have delivery on or about July 26.”

He added the bonds were guaranteed through the Permanent School Fund Guarantee Program which authorizes the district to sell up to $7.75 million in bonds.

“That fund effectively gets us a AAA rating because it guarantees the principal and interest on the debt service of the bonds,” he said.

Wilks explained the AAA rating meant the bonds were viewed as the safest bonds by the bond rating agencies.

Following a brief explanation about various documents he had distributed to the board, Wilks discussed the bid process

He said the Bank of Oklahoma (BOK) Financial Securities, Inc. had bid the lowest interest rate of 3.033857, while the other bids ranged from 3.05 to 3.16.

“We like 3.03 better than anything else,” Wilks said. “You’re total debt service will be $11.21 million and that’s $1.37 million better than we projected.”

“My recommendation is to award the bid to BOK Financial Securities, Inc. at the bid of 3.033857 and now I will turn this over to Mr. Eugene,” Wilks said.

Eugene, a partner in the law firm of Powell and Leon, LLP informed the trustees the next step in the bond process was to validate the bonds with the attorney general’s office.

“Every bond that is sold in the state of Texas has to be approved by the state’s attorney general with the documentation for that purpose. On July 26, I believe, that is when you will actually get the money and you can start construction on your project. I wish you the best on that. What we need to do first is adopt the bid and then you can start signing the documents,” he said.

A motion was made to adopt the bid of BOK Financial Services, Inc., seconded and unanimously approved. A second motion was also made and unanimously approved to adopt an order authorizing the issuance of bonds.

After signing the various legal documents related to the bond issuance – and with no further business – the meeting was adjourned.

Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at wjohnson@messenger-news.com.