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Oak Creek School District halves interest rate on $6 million loan

Feb. 12, 2014

Oak Creek — The School Board halved the interest rates on more than $6 million in debt Monday.

District administrators refinanced a 2004 loan of $6.18 million Monday. That loan was used for upgrades at the high school, and the construction of Deerfield Elementary and East Middle schools.

The loan had an interest rate of 4 percent and the refinance will save the district $572,247 by bringing the rate to 2.05 percent. The savings will be used to further reduce the district's total debt of $43.3 million.

As part of the vote, the board also committed an extra $400,000 to ease the debt.

The district received a Aa2 rating from Moody's Analytics, mainly due to an increasingly healthy fund balance, said Brian Brewer, managing director of Robert W. Baird & Co.

The Moody's report listed the district's large tax base as a financial strength, but noted the district is challenged by a high dependance on state aid and some facilities reaching capacity.

The winning refinancing bidder was BMO Capital Markets out of Chicago. Although School Board members Frank Carini and Kathleen Borchardt both work for BMO, they do not work for that firm and did not abstain from voting for the measure.

The debt is scheduled to be paid off by 2024.

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