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U.S. BANK UNVEILS LOW-COST FINANCE PROGRAM FOR OREGON SCHOOL DISTRICTS

U.S. BANK UNVEILS LOW-COST FINANCE PROGRAM FOR OREGON SCHOOL DISTRICTS
 PORTLAND, Ore., Aug. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Hurt by budget cuts and fewer traditional financial sources for small but vital projects, Oregon school districts now can obtain tailor-made, low-rate financing through "FlexFund," an innovative cooperative finance program developed by U.S. Bank, the bank said today.
 Endorsed by the Oregon School Boards Association, FlexFund enables schools to bundle their financing needs into one large pool, thereby reducing costs, including interest rates, to all participating borrowers.
 U.S. Bank's program grew out of the need to create affordable financing for the maintenance of school property and the purchase of real and personal property. "It's becoming very difficult for schools with needs less than $1 million to secure cost-effective financing," said Jim Marolich, vice president and manager of public finance for U.S. Bank. "FlexFund provides opportunities for things like a new roof, a school bus, copy machines or computer equipment."
 U.S. Bank combines the districts' financing needs into one offering, and issues each district an individualized repayment plan. Based on the volume of activity, U.S. Bank also negotiates more competitive legal and trustee fees, and passes the savings on to the school districts. The cooperative financing program simplifies complicated financial transactions that often preclude many districts from the process.
 "FlexFund is an attractive financing alternative for districts which aren't looking for multimillion-dollar improvements," said Marolich. "Instead of each district paying fees separately, FlexFund allows schools to combine their requests and share financing costs. Standardized documents and payment dates also help keep costs down."
 Savings are shared by taxpayers as well. For example, a school district borrowing $500,000 at 10-percent interest for 10 years through a financial institution pays a total of $81,372.70 per year. The same school district using FlexFund pays 7 percent (comparably), with no additional costs, for an annual total of $71,188.75, saving taxpayers $101,839.50 over the life of the financing.
 U.S. Bank's FlexFund program may also be used to refinance existing obligations at lower rates. Although there is no minimum or maximum finance amount, FlexFund requests average less than $1 million.
 FlexFund is financed through the sale of Certificates of Participation (COP). COPs are similar to municipal notes or bonds, and are sold in $5,000 denominations to investors looking for tax-free income.
 In the last year, U.S. Bank also has entered into multiple-year contracts with the State of Washington, City of Seattle, Washington School Directors Association, Special Districts Association of Oregon and California School Boards Association Finance Corp.
 "We are experiencing tremendous success with this program," said Debra Brusie, program coordinator for U.S. Bank. "We look forward to supporting additional educational needs throughout the state."
 U.S. Bank of Oregon is a subsidiary of U.S. Bancorp (NASDAQ: USBC), the largest financial services company headquartered in the Northwest, with assets of $19.3 billion as of June 30, 1992. Other U.S. Bancorp subsidiaries include U.S. Bank of Washington and U.S. Bank of California.
 -0- 8/19/92
 /CONTACT: Mary Ruble of U.S. Bank, 503-275-6200/
 (USBC) CO: U.S. Bancorp; U.S. Bank of Oregon ST: Oregon IN: FIN SU: PDT


SC-JH -- SE001 -- 1293 08/19/92 11:00 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Aug 19, 1992
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