Week of October 2, 2016

CLARY-MICHAEL-240

Included in today’s bulletin is our annual parish Financial Report (July 1, 2015 through June 30, 2016).  As you can see we did well this past year with a net income of $69,806.  I am grateful to all of you for helping to make this a reality.  Part of the increase in income this year is due to our parking lot appeal.  We have finished the first phase of a five-year phase of restoring our parking lot.  This year we put in French drains in the north parking lot and repaired some major cracks in the north parking lot.  We have seen the benefit of the French drains already.

You will also note that we made a principal payment on our parish loan of $253,437.  As of July 1, 2016 our parish debt stands at $5,312,852.  Recently we have been in conversation with our diocese about the possibility of refinancing our loan with a bank.  The benefit of doing this is we can work out a fixed rate with a bank.  The diocese has a variable rate.

Allow me to give a brief history of our parish debt.  In September of 2003 the parish bought the land where we are for $601,200 and the planning for the church began to shape in October 2004.  As you know the dedication of the church took place on September 24, 2006.  We reached the top of our debt in January 2007 – $8,319,500.  Unfortunately for our parish interest rates began to rise in 2004, reaching their peak in May of 2006 – 7.75%.  From May of 2006 through August of 2008 we weren’t able to make any principal payments on the debt.  During that time we were making interest payments over $50,000 – $55,500 a month.  May 2011 we finally were able to sell the old church for $1,311,428 (in 2006 it had been appraised around $3 million).  In 2011/12 we were making principal payments of $8,000 a month.  In 2012/13 we were able to increase our principal payments to $21,000 a month and have continued paying that amount.

Our Finance Committee has been working with banks to see what kind of fixed rates we can get for our loan.  Bank of Lee’s Summit, whom we have been banking with for over 30 years, has given us the best rate – 3.85% over a 10-year period.  The diocese sees this as an excellent proposal and has given us permission to proceed with the bank.  They have placed one condition on the approval.  Within three years we are required to initiate a debt reduction capital campaign with the goal of significantly reducing the amount of outstanding debt.

The Finance Committee sees this as a good way for our parish to go.  We have accepted the bishop’s terms and are proceeding to work with Bank of Lee’s Summit.  If we continue paying the amount we are paying now, we will pay the loan off in 15 years and 2 months.  If we do well with the campaign to significantly reduce the debt, perhaps we could pay it off in the 10-year period.  One can dream.

Thanks to Jim and Jean Gately for sharing their reflection on Stewardship in our parish.  You will be receiving a letter from me this coming week asking you to make a pledge of finances and to consider being involved in the life of our parish.  I appreciate all that you do to keep our parish strong.

Thanks also for the cards and gifts I received for my birthday and for singing happy birthday at the masses.  I will be attending our Priest Assembly this week.  We will have mass on Monday and Friday.  Wednesday we will have a communion service.

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