Lakota Schools refinance to shave $6 million off district’s bond debt

Lakota Schools will save $6 million off of its bond debt interest payments due to a re-finance recently completed by district Treasure Jenni Logan. Logan informed the Lakota Board of Education of the savings during last week's board meeting. (File Photo\Journal-News)
Lakota Schools will save $6 million off of its bond debt interest payments due to a re-finance recently completed by district Treasure Jenni Logan. Logan informed the Lakota Board of Education of the savings during last week's board meeting. (File Photo\Journal-News)

Taxpayers in the Lakota school district will see a $6 million savings in the coming years due to some recent debt refinancing by the school system.

Lakota officials recently announced refinancing of some bonds will produce the savings from interest owed.

“Our goal is to lower the interest expense we have as a district,” Lakota treasurer Jenni Logan told the school board at a recent meeting. “Any time we reduce interest rates, that is some really good news.”

In November, the district reported to the state it faces an estimated $11.7 million budget deficit in five years caused in part by extra costs from operating during the coronavirus pandemic, but also due to recent cuts in state funding.

ExploreCoronavirus, state funding cuts’ impact: Lakota facing budget deficit in coming years say officials

The Lakota Schools is the largest in Butler County and the largest suburban district in southwest Ohio with 22 schools drawing enrollment from West Chester and Liberty townships. The school system’s annual operating budget is $184 million.

The district will also accelerate its debt payments five years earlier to mature in 2028 instead of 2033.

Before the restructuring, said Logan, Lakota’s debt payments were scheduled to begin to dip in 2027 only to begin to rise again in 2030. Now, with the new structure, overall annual debt payments will drop in 2028 and remain flat through 2033.

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