Voters OK refinancing school district loan
Question: "INITIAL RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING GENERAL OBLIGATION BONDS IN AN AMOUNT NOT TO EXCEED $1,870,000
BE IT RESOLVED by the School Board of the Whitewater Unified School District, Jefferson, Rock and Walworth Counties, Wisconsin that there shall be issued pursuant to Chapter 67 of the Wisconsin Statutes, general obligation bonds in an amount not to exceed $1,870,000 for the public purpose of paying the cost of refinancing the District's outstanding State Trust Fund Loan, dated November 26, 2004."
WHITEWATER Whitewater School District has a little bit more flexibility in its funding formula now that voters Tuesday approved accelerated payments of a 6-year-old loan.
The school system estimates that refinancing its Wisconsin Trust Fund loan will save it nearly $565,000 and allow the full amount to be paid off 10 years early.
About 77 percent of voters approved the measure through the school's referendum.
"This is very significant for us," District Administrator Suzanne Zentner said.
"We're very appreciative to everyone for this opportunity to be smarter with our funding."
Business Manager Jim Strasburg said paying off the loan ahead of 2024 allows the district to reassign about $182,000 that was usually designated for annual payments. It will be sent to the general operations fund.
The turbulent state of the economy allowed the district to refinance its loan at 2.5 percent—well below its current rate of 5.5 percent.
The $2.1 million loan was taken out in 2004.
Whitewater schools initially planned two referendums for Tuesday, but the school board decided last month to indefinitely delay the other one.
The second referendum would have asked for support to exceed the state's revenue cap for another five years. After the district was awarded $617,241 through the federal education jobs bill, board members decided the money wasn't needed yet.