County board approves Lasata borrowing
Vote to bond for $10 million was unanimous

By Denise Seyfer - News Graphic Staff

July 3, 2014

PORT WASHINGTON — A second hurdle, and possibly the most important obstacle, out of three essential votes to borrow $10 million to renovate Lasata’s Care Center, passed the Ozaukee County Board unanimously Wednesday.

A resolution authorizing the issuance of up to $10 million in general obligation bonds for Lasata renovations, as well as a resolution providing for the sale of $10 million in general obligation county building bonds were both approved by a 24-0 vote. Lasata’s Campus Administrator Ralph Luedtke said at the executive and health and human services committees meeting that met before the full board meeting, the care center would show a deficit for a few years as a stand- alone entity; however, he was confident it would see a profit in the third or fourth year.

On June 4, the county board approved a resolution by a vote of 23-1 supporting the concept of borrowing $10 million to upgrade and renovate the Lasata Care Center.

Financial projections from Robert W. Baird anticipate the county could secure a 20-year $10 million bond issue at 3.18 percent.

If bonding could happen “today,” the county could save money, Ozaukee County Administrator Tom Meaux said Wednesday. Interest rates sit under 3 percent, which could change by the time the bonds are sold.

“The numbers are looking very decent and reasonable,” Meaux said, “and based on all of our projections, seem like they are certainly as accurate as we can be at this time.”

In August, the third and final vote required for improvements to move forward will likely occur as the board votes on the specific bonding terms of the agreement, including interest rate and length of terms.

According to Robert W. Baird’s analysis, interest payments would start in 2015 and principal payments would start in 2016. The total interest over the life of the bond would be $3.77 million, which is $1.27 million lower than previous projections. The total debt payments would average $688,300 per year over the life of the bond.

Some board members voiced concerns about the cost of the renovations.

County board Supervisor Kathlyn Geracie spoke out in favor of borrowing the funds.

“We can do this,” Geracie said. “I know going forward … we’re assured it will be done for $10 million or less. There will be some change orders … some of those things may have to be adjusted, but we will get a good renovation of our facility that will last for many years to come.”

County board Supervisor Jennifer Rothstein offered a special acknowledgement to Luedtke and to supervisors Cynthia Bock, Karl Hertz and Robert Brooks.

“I just wanted to thank the supervisors and the staff. This is a great day coming forward today; thank you,” Rothstein said.

Denise Seyfer can be reached at .