PARIS – SAD 17 is one step closer to financing a new $11.6 million elementary school in Paris.

This week, the Oxford Hills School District board authorized the sale of bonds in the amount of $11,535,928 to pay for construction. “It’s a legal formality,” said Cathy Fanjoy, district business manager.

This is one step in a long process to formalize the financing for a massive municipal project, which started last year when locals voted to approve building a new elementary school. For many years, the town has needed a larger building to accommodate all the Paris students in kindergarten through grade six in one building.

Robert O. Lenna, the executive director of the Maine Municipal Bond Bank, said these bonds, along with other Maine bonds, are up for sale Sept. 23, and are open only to state residents for two business days. Buyers can purchase $5,000 denominations of 20-year bonds at what is expected to be a 4.5 percent interest rate, according to Lenna.

Lenna predicts that Maine residents will buy between 30 and 60 percent of the bonds for sale. Municipal bonds are appealing for their low risk and tax-exempt status.

On the third day, the bonds will open to the national market. Lenna said, “That portion of the sale takes two hours.”

The proceeds from the sale of bonds will be deposited in the school’s bank Oct. 27. The state will pick up 95 percent of the school’s construction cost, but the debt is in the school district’s name, Fanjoy said.

A state grant for $118,000 will also be used to create an energy efficient school, said John Parsons, the school district’s representative for the Paris elementary school.

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