Marinette School District Referendum Financing Saves Money For Taxpayers
The Marinette School District’s recent financing of its $30.9 million building referendum came with good news for district taxpayers. The district was able to lock in a very low interest rate of 1.64% on 15-year bonds for the project. The district’s responsible fiscal planning and solid budgeting practices led to a bond rating upgrade to Aa3 (very strong) from Moody’s Investors Services. The District's positive fiscal position was also key in getting a 15-year term on the bonds instead of a 20-year term.
“What this means for taxpayers is that the district will need to spend less money on interest for the referendum borrowing and also pay off the loan in a shorter period of time,” said Superintendent Corry Lambie. “That will translate to a lower tax impact than previously projected. We are pleased that the district’s history of prudent fiscal management has resulted in these cost savings for taxpayers.”
Overall, the district will spend almost $10.7 million less than the original estimate on servicing the referendum debt. This means that the mill rate for the referendum will be $0.39 lower than the projected rate. The overall mill rate cannot be determined until the state budget for 2021-2023 is determined over the next six months. Even with the referendum included, the district expects to continue to keep the mill rate under the state average.
The $30.9 million building plan was passed by voters last November. Under the plan, the district will right size its operations by consolidating from six buildings to four. Park and Merryman Elementary Schools will be expanded and Sunrise Early Learning Center and Garfield Elementary School will be closed. There will also be remodeling at Marinette Middle and High Schools. Construction is expected to be completed by the 2022-23 school year.