A plan that will save Carson City and Lyon County school districts thousands of dollars in interest was approved by the State Board of Finance on Wednesday.
The board, which includes the governor, state treasurer and controller and two private appointees, voted to guarantee $9 million in bonds for the Carson City School District and $12 million for Lyon County School District with the state's Permanent School Fund.
Treasurer Brian Krolicki said that will save Carson School District an estimated $150,000 and Lyon County nearly $300,000 in interest payments.
The reason is that the Permanent School Fund, which contains more than $70 million in cash, carries the highest rating granted by financial agencies - triple A. That is better than Carson City's A rating or Lyon County's AB - which means the bonds will be sold at a significantly lower interest rate.
"We can't give them money but we can reduce the cost of the interest they have to pay," said Krolicki after the meeting.
He said the state began using the fund to guarantee small school district bonds about four years ago to save them money. The cap for each district is $25 million.
Since both Carson and Lyon school officials only sought permission to issue half the total bonding voters approved at this time, he said, both are expected to return to the Finance Board next year seeking guarantees for the second half of their bonds.
The $18 million bond in Carson City will be used for maintenance, technology and safety upgrades throughout the district.
The Lyon County bond will be used to build a new high school in Silver Springs, a joint-use library and for additional classroom space.