December, 2015
In this final issue of The Advisor for 2015, we reflect on the success of this past year as well as looking ahead to 2016.
We thank each of our clients and business partners for helping Ehlers celebrate our 60th anniversary this year.  

On behalf of the entire Ehlers team, we hope that you and your families enjoy the best that the season has to offer. We appreciate your relationship and interaction with us.

Happy Holidays from our team to yours!

Steve Apfelbacher, President
Steve A





 
Rushford-Peterson School District  
A Long Road to a New Building
By Greg Crowe, Municipal Advisor and
Gary Olsen, Senior Municipal Advisor 
Another article in this newsletter reports on the large number of successful bond referendums for Minnesota school districts in 2014 and 2015. Rushford-Peterson is one of the many districts on that list. But the road that led to that successful election was a long one, and included at least 15 years of planning, several unsuccessful elections, a flood, and new legislation that significantly benefited the district.
 
2015 A Record Year for MN School Bond Referendums 
40 School Districts Received Voter Approval
By Joel Sutter, Senior Municipal Advisor 

During calendar year 2015, there were 40 Minnesota school districts which received voter approval to issue bonds to finance capital projects. The total amount of bonds authorized was over $1.73 billion. The bond referendum amounts ranged from a low of $495,000 (in Cromwell-Wright, Roseau, East Central, and Kelliher), to over $100 million in Forest Lake, Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan, Edina, and Shakopee. (NOTE: All data for this article were compiled by Ehlers from a variety of publicly available records.)

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Ehlers Education Seminar - Save the Date! 
 
Whether you use a paper or electronic calendar, be sure to reserve Friday, April 15, 2016 for the Ehlers Minnesota School Finance Seminar. This year's seminar will again be held at the Sheraton Minneapolis West Hotel in Minnetonka (next to Ridgedale).

The Ehlers School Finance Seminar focuses on timely school financial information for Minnesota superintendents, business managers, and school board members.

Look for more information about sessions, registration and hotel location in mid-January, or visit the Ehlers website for details. For now, just mark your calendar! We hope to see you there.

Jeff Seeley
2016 Election Dates
Available Dates for 2016 Elections
By Jeff Seeley, Municipal Advisor 

This was a record year for school district bond referendums in Minnesota, with 40 districts receiving voter approval for issuance of bonds.
 
So what can we expect to see in 2016? Based on the number of schools that already have begun working with us on elections for this coming year, we expect another busy year for school district bond elections.

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Moody's Launches Issuer Comment Report in 2016 
Report Fills a Gap in the Market

Beginning January, 2016, Moody's will be launching a new research publication, the Issuer Comment Report. This report, to be published annually for Moody's rated issuers with general obligation or related debt, expands the firm's research coverage of cities, counties, and school districts, and provides updated credit research on those issuers' outstanding rated debt.
 
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Charging Fees for Large Cash Deposit Balances 
New Capital Rules Trend
By Jack Fay, Municipal Investment Advisor and
Jack Samuels, Cash Forecast/Investment Services Analyst 

The season of giving is in full swing. Unfortunately for large cash depositors, the widespread generosity has failed to reach big banks. Banks continue paying out minimal interest on cash balances. In some cases, they are refusing large cash deposits altogether, or they are charging fees for large deposit balances. This trend has come as a result of new capital rules put in place by banking regulators. Under these rules, banks are required to hold high quality liquid assets to cover potential deposit withdrawals, making the deposits that fund these loans more expensive for the bank to retain.
 
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 Ehlers Inc., Ehlers Investment Partners and Bond Trust Services are affiliate companies.