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Boyceville school board approves short-term loan at .45% interest

By LeAnn R. Ralph

BOYCEVILLE — The Boyceville Board of Education approved short-term borrowing of $500,000 at an interest rate of .45 percent at a special meeting Monday night that followed the budget hearing and annual meeting.

 The school district has been doing short-term borrowing probably since before 1996 to allow the district to be able to pay its bills and meet the payroll during the gap between receiving tax revenue and state aid, said Kevin Sipple, superintendent.

Over the last five years, the district’s fund balance has been increasing so that the amount needed for short-term borrowing has been cut in half, he said.

This year’s fund balance is $2.21 million.

In recent years, because of the Great Recession and the poor economy, it has sometimes been difficult to get bids for short-term borrowing, Sipple said.

This year the school district received three bids.

The low bid was from Peoples State Bank at an interest rate of .45 percent.

Net interest on the loan will be $2,300.

Robert W. Baird & Company out of Milwaukee submitted a bid of 1 percent interest that would have cost the district $3,191 in net interest after a premium of $1,920, for a net interest rate of .62 percent.

First Merit Bank submitted a bid of .74 percent interest.

Because the fund balance is increasing, the school district may be reaching the point where it could qualify for a line of credit rather than doing short-term borrowing, Sipple told the school board.

“If we continue to improve our financial status, a line of credit may be possible,” he said.

According to a report included with the school board packet, the highest interest rate Boyceville has paid for short-term borrowing since 1996 was 5 percent in 2000 when the district borrowed $2.5 million.

Last year the school district borrowed $1 million at an interest rate of 1 percent and a premium of $4,320 for a net interest rate of .58 percent.

The Boyceville Board of Education unanimously approved the bid from People’s State Bank for the short-term borrowing of $500,000 at .45 percent interest.

Other business

In other business, the Boyceville Board of Education:

• Accepted the resignation of Julie Wathke as payroll and benefits clerk and community education director. Wathke was appointed as the Dunn County clerk at the Dunn County Board’s September meeting.

• Approved hiring Alesha Kersten as the district’s payroll and benefits clerk and the director of community education. Kersten previously worked in the district as the middle school and high school administrative assistant.

• Approved hiring Nancy Pustol as the new administrative assistant for the middle school and high school. Pustol currently is working in Eau Claire and will start the position in Boyceville as soon as it possible for her to do so.