Hilltop Refinances School Improvement Bonds, Saves District Hundreds Of Thousands


IMG_0558.JPGBy: T.J. Hug
The Village Reporter

Seven years into the life of the new school facility of the Millcreek-West Unity School District, the cost of paying off the project has just declined a significant amount.
As the building is being paid for through a school improvement bond, there are, on occasion, opportunities to refinance said bonds. The conditions were recently ripe for such a maneuver, and District Treasurer Traci Thompson took full advantage, electing to restructure the terms of the initial agreement made in 2006.

Initially, the building project cost $8,708,122 to the district. Since that time, the school has chipped away at that number, lowering it to $6,919,998.40. With the current conditions of the bond market, the opportunity to refinance was simply too beneficial to ignore.

“The (Millcreek-West Unity) Board of Education wants to take every opportunity to reduce taxes to our constituents,” Thompson said in a press release, “and with favorable bond markety condidtions, we think this refunding provides a great opportunity to save money for the community.”

With the move saving the district’s tax payers approximately $388,704.48, or 4.5%,, most would be inclined to agree.

“We’re saving the district money.” School Superintendent Larry Long stated.

The conclusion to refinance the bond didn’t come without outside advise, however.

“Everything is done through a bonding agency.” Thompson vocalized.

She, along with the school’s legal counsel, worked closely with Omar Ganoom, the Managing Director of Ross Sinclair and Associates, LLC. in order to assure that the time was right to make this decision.

“We let the professionals advise us.” Claimed Thompson in an interview. “It’s important that we get this right.”

The word professional certainly fits Ganoom well. With more than thirty-five years of experience in matters of investment banking, investment management, and government, he is one of the more highly respected financial adviser in the field of public finance. Also, having been a Licensed School Treasurer in the State of Ohio, the banker is uniquely qualified to assist schools such as Hilltop on issues as complex as bond refinancing.

While the choice to refinance has already saved the district such a large sum of money, it won’t be the last time the school will have the chance to do so.

“Honestly, there will be another opportunity to do this again in ten years.” Acknowledged Thompson.

As far as payments, the school makes two each year. The installment covers interest, while the second goes toward both interest and principal. Both of those payments should reduce thanks to the refinancing process.

And with Thompson and the financial team looking out for Hilltop’s best interests, the residents of the Millcreek-West Unity School District can res assured those payments will always be as low as they can possibly be.

T.J. Hug can be reached at

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