Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

$30M Bond Financing Ok'd for Felician College

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

$30M Bond Financing Ok'd for Felician College

Article excerpt

The Bergen County freeholders have approved a $30 million bond arrangement that will enable Felician College to refinance old loans and pay for improvements to its Lodi and Rutherford campuses.

The bonds are being issued through the Bergen County Improvement Authority, the county's financing arm under a program though which it makes its favorable interest rates available to schools, municipalities and non-profit organizations.

County officials say the arrangement -- known as a "pass- through" bond -- will not involve any county funds nor put taxpayers at risk.

Felician is a private independent non-profit Catholic/Franciscan college sponsored by the Felician Sisters. Its history dates back to July 1923 when it began as the Immaculate Conception Normal School.

The Improvement Authority serves as a conduit for the loan, which will be made by the college's lender J.P. Morgan to Felician's parent organization, Felician Services Inc. in Illinois, said Mauro Raguseo, acting executive director for the authority. Felician Services will be responsible for repaying the loan. If it fails to do so, J.P. Morgan would be on the hook, not county taxpayers, Raguseo said.

The freeholders gave their consent to the deal Wednesday by a 6- 0 vote with one freeholder, David Ganz, abstaining. Ganz said he had a potential conflict since his banker is J.P. Morgan.

Felician officials welcomed the freeholders' vote.

"This bond issue will help us to improve the facilities on our campus and to manage long-term debt," said Edward Eichhorn, vice president for institutional advancement at Felician.

"This is a great thing for the college and we're very appreciative,' he added.

By taking advantage of the county's AAA-bond rating, Felician will be able to borrow at a proposed fixed interest rate of 2.83 percent. Officials said they did not have a ready estimate of what those savings should be. …

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