16 C O M M U N I T Y C O N N E C T I O N S Property owners in the CoachellaValley will save more than $253 million over the next 20 years thanks to actions taken by College of the Desert to restructure and refinance the Desert Community College District’s general bond debt. The most recent bond debt refinancing, completed in early April 2017, will yield $205 million of future value savings, a 54 percent present value savings. “Since I arrived six years ago, we have been working hard to find ways to take advantage of the opportunity provided by lower interest rates,”said Dr. Joel L. Kinnamon, Superintendent/President.“We pledge to continue to remain good stewards of the investment made in the future of higher education in our valley.” Over the past three years, the College has taken advantage of low interest rates to convert existing bond debt to a shorter term and significant reduction in interest rate, resulting in a total net savings to taxpayers of $253 million.Without these steps, bond debt would have stayed at a higher rate for much longer, leaving taxpayers with a significantly higher bond- related property tax obligation. In 2015, the College refinanced $38,690,000 of 2005 General Obligation Bonds.The annual savings to taxpayers from this transaction was about $874,600 with a total net present value savings of just over $7.2 million, or 16.5%. In 2004, the voters of the Desert Community College District approved Measure B, which sought approval for the College to sell bonds for construction, modernization and expansion of the district’s facilities, including the EastValley campuses in Indio and Mecca/Thermal.The bonds were issued at the best available interest rate at the time. Since then, rates have significantly been reduced. “Converting debt to take advantage of lower interest rates is good public policy,”saidVern Kozlen, Chairman of the Bond Citizens Oversight Committee.“We were pleased to see the College move so aggressively over the last few years to restructure the debt to the benefit of local property owners.” College of the Desert Refinance Saves Taxpayers Over $253 million College of the Desert hosted middle and high school students from throughout the Coachella Valley over the summer to introduce them to college and the possibilities of a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) career. The goal of the two-week hands-on CODe program summer sessions was to introduce and enhance the students’technical knowledge and skills to inspire them to consider careers in computer coding, cybersecurity and/or STEM disciplines. College of the Desert also held free weeklong robotics camps for middle school students over the summer at its Desert Hot Springs, Indio and Mecca/Thermal campuses, and the College’s Partnership and Community Education (PaCE) location insideWestfield Palm Desert. Job growth in technology fields far outpaces the amount of job-seekers available. So it’s extremely important to help students gain these skills today for the jobs that will continue to be in high demand in the future. The CODe program is one of many examples of how College of the Desert works with its K-12 partners in the CoachellaValley to help young students learn more about finding their path to college and potentially toward STEM disciplines. Campuses Host Summer Sessions for Middle and High School Students