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Hampshire eyes lower borrowing costs; repayment due over next 11 years

Updated: January 10, 2013 6:28AM

HAMPSHIRE — The village is jumping on the bandwagon, along with other local area municipalities and school districts, in trying to lower interest costs on money it has borrowed through bonds.

“Village staff has been working with Speer Financial Inc. (financial advisor) and Bernardi Securities (bond underwriter) on the proposed issuance of up to $2.75 million in refunding bonds to refund a number of outstanding debt instruments held by the village,” said village Administrator Doug Maxeiner. “The purpose of the refunding is to capture savings from lower interest rates offered in the current bond market.”

The board this week looked at refunding three sets of bonds that were purchased from 2003 to 2006. Interest rates at that time ranged from 4.5 to 5 percent, according to Daniel Forbes, vice president of Speer Financial. Current interest rates range from 2 to 2.75 percent.

“After the payment of all costs of issuance, the sale will result in a nominal debt service savings of $176,517.60 worth $167,364.48 on a present value basis or 6.96 percent of refunded principal,” Forbes said.

The new bonds are scheduled to be paid back over the next 11 years.

“We hope this meets the village’s goals,” said Forbes. “The village administrator went through 10 times what a normal village administrator goes through with this work, and the village attorney had to review many documents.”

In other business, the board, heard from Trustee George Brust about a Federal Emergency Management Agency cell phone alert system.

The wireless emergency alerts or WEAs let owners of enabled mobile devices receive text-like message alerts for imminent threats to safety, depending on the subscriber’s geographical location, he said.

“This service works wherever a user goes and does not require prior knowledge of zip codes or advanced registration,” he said. “This new communication system assures emergency alerts will not become congested in highly populated areas, which occurs with standard mobile voice and texting services, particularly in times of crisis.”

Brust noted that a wireless customer from Hampshire who was visiting downtown New York would receive an alert if there was an active threat in the New York City area. However, while that subscriber is in New York City, he or she would not receive alerts targeted in Chicago.

“The (system) only broadcast three types of alerts, which are alerts issued by the president, alerts concerning life-threatening risks, and Amber alerts,” Brust said.

Cell phone users should check with their provider on whether their phone is WEA ready.

According to the FEMA website, customers of participating wireless carriers with alert-capable phones will not need to sign up to receive the alerts and should automatically receive them in the event of an emergency, if they are located in, or travel to the affected geographic area. Wireless customers are not charged for the delivery of WEA.

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