NMC to save taxpayers money on debt refinancing

June 24, 2009

TRAVERSE CITY, MI – The Northwestern Michigan College Board of Trustees has approved a plan to refinance debt that is expected to save taxpayers more than $386,000.

Grand Traverse County voters in 1999 approved a millage to fund capital improvements. Trustees on Monday voted to refinance $3,795,000 of the debt, due to lower interest rates.

The current debt obligation is .70 mills. The millage rate is expected to drop to .68 mills during 2010.

The move is one of several steps the college has taken in recent years that have resulted in substantial savings, including:

  • A re-bid of healthcare benefits that is saving $900,000 over three years.
  • Energy efficiency initiatives that are saving more than $200,000 a year.
  • A vehicle leasing arrangement that will save $400,000 over five years.
  • Converting to internal management of the Hagerty Conference Center that will save more than $100,000 a year.

NMC's $37.7 million general fund has three primary sources of revenue:

  • Tuition and fees (48%)
  • Local property taxes (25%)
  • State aid (23%)

Due in part to these and other cost-saving measures, Trustees earlier this year voted not to increase tuition for Grand Traverse County residents for the 2009-10 year.

"College faculty and staff have worked very hard to achieve these savings," said NMC President Timothy J. Nelson. "They've done so while adding programs and services, and maintaining the high quality of an NMC education."

Nelson said that, despite decreases in state aid in recent years, NMC has been able to operate more efficiently in order to maintain very affordable tuition.

For more information

Paul Heaton
Director of Public Relations
(231) 995-1019