Financial Update: UUCC’s Mortgage Background

Financial Update: UUCC’s Mortgage Background

UUCC recently completed the process of extending its Howard Bank loan that partially funded the expansion and renovation of the Owen Brown Interfaith Center (OBIC) in 2015-16.

In a major step toward realizing the congregation’s vision for the future, on January 24, 2014, UUCC signed a loan document with Howard Bank for $1.5 million. This bank loan—along with dedicated contributions—funded the construction of Sanctuary C and the expansion and renovation of other parts of the Owen Brown Interfaith Center.

The mortgage agreement with Howard Bank had a five-year term at 4.50% based on a 25 year amortization. The amortization schedule dictated monthly payments of just under $8,550.00 with approximately $3,380.00 going towards principal and the balance to interest. Payments began in April of 2016 with a resulting maturity date of April 2021.

When the congregation hired me as your Executive Director in November of 2019, one of the first tasks I inherited was the need to extend this long-term obligation. From conversations with members and Howard Bank, I learned that it was clear that an extension of the mortgage was understood from the beginning—the five-year initial term was driven both by bank policy and by the nature of UUCC’s shared ownership of the Owen Brown Interfaith Center.

At the Board of Trustees meeting on March 9, 2021, the Executive Team and Board discussed our mortgage modification options. The current principal balance is about $1,330,500.00. Howard Bank offered the congregation the option to extend the mortgage for 10 years at 4.45% or 5 years at 3.95%. With both options, it is clearly understood that the congregation anticipates pursuing a second modification at the close of the period. A rough calculation indicated that the five-year option would save UUCC approximately $25,000 in interest payments. Given the substantial savings, the Board agreed and endorsed the Executive Team’s recommendation for the five-year modification.

Howard Bank has been a great partner in this process and has consistently demonstrated a desire to support UUCC as an important institution in the county. My most memorable meeting was a walk around Lake Elkhorn with a loan officer engaging in a deep discussion of UUCC’s work in the community. I’ve never had an experience like that with a bank before!

Some UUCC members are thinking deeply about the impact this long-term obligation has on the congregation. If you would like to contribute your energy to this conversation, please reach out to me (sean@uucolumbia.net). I would be happy to further these conversations and connect you with other members interested in addressing our long-term debt.

In community,
Sean Griffin, Executive Director

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