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Steel Valley directors to terminate participation in interest rate swaps on debt

| Friday, March 28, 2014, 1:06 a.m.

Steel Valley school directors have adopted a resolution that will terminate the district's participation in interest rate swaps on debt.

“These instruments have uncertainty,” said Superintendent Edward Wehrer, who called for the termination.

While the district said it currently earns about $42,000 annually and has made about $500,000 since it started participating in the investment tool based on fixed and floating interest rates nine years ago, Wehrer said market fluctuation could put taxpayer dollars at risk.

All school directors except Michael Terrick supported the resolution.

Terrick said he wanted additional time to study the issue.

Terminating the swaps could cost the district as much as $199,000, with up to $150,000 in penalties being paid to Deutsche Bank and Bank of America for early termination contracts the district has with those banks. The district expects to pay about $49,000 in fees for the termination.

In other business, the school board gave final approval to hiring John Zenone as the district's business manager at a rate of $106,000 annually. Zenone, who will serve as director of operations, board secretary and right-to-know officer for Steel Valley, was awarded a four-year contract that includes annual raises of up to 1.6 percent.

Eric Slagle is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1966, or eslagle@tribweb.com.

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