In an era where the purse strings for school districts across the state are growing tighter and tighter, it takes some creative financing to stretch dollars further.
The Menomonee Falls School District is doing just that, and Business Director Jeff Gross has helped lighten the burden for taxpayers in the district moving forward for the next decade or so.
The district refinanced roughly $9.9 million in debt issued in 2007 to capitalize on historically low interest rates on the bond market. Gross, along with consultants at PMA Financial, kept their eyes on the market for over a year with the though of refinancing. Last week, eight financial firms placed 41 bids for the bonds.
In the end, the district will save roughly $1.3 million over the next 15 years. Although the funds won’t directly impact the operating budget in the district, the savings will have a $90,000 annual positive impact on the tax levy for residents.
The district’s Aa2 rating from Moody’s was a primary reason the debt was refinanced at such a competitive rate. Superintendent Patricia Greco said Falls is one of 17 school districts — out of roughly 400 in the state — to sport a Moody’s bond rating at that level.
School Board Member Scott Ternes said the refinancing is essentially a lower mortgage payment for the district. The savings from lower interest rates will be placed in an escrow account, and will be used when the 2007 bonds come due.