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Clark State deposits in state investment program

Clark State Community College has deposited $5.5 million in a state-approved investment program that officials say yields competitive returns for local governments and agencies.

The STAR Plus cash deposit program is endorsed by Republican Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel, who visited Clark State last week to announce Clark State’s deposit.

“We’re doing everything we can to maximize the yield, maximize the rate of return so that there’s more money to educate students here,” said Mandel.

So far, more than 260 local governments have invested more than $830 million, according to Mandel’s office.

Since 1985, local governments could invest their money in the State Treasury Asset Reserve of Ohio, which the state treasurer would then invest in federal government agency securities, eligible commercial and money market funds.

Mandel announced the STAR Plus program in June, made possible through a bill introduced in 2011.

Clark State decided to invest in the program after seeing the rates of returns, which were nearly triple the rate of the traditional STAR account, controller Dixie Depew said.

“It’s appealing because the interest rate is higher than what we have available in our regular STAR Ohio account,” she said. “It has great ease of use so it’s very easy to move the money in there and have the money available if we need it for our use and it’s safe.”

The traditional account’s interest rate was .08 percent as of Feb. 26, while the STAR Plus account had a .22 percent interest rate.

Clark State made an investment of $500,000 in November, said DePew.

“When we could see the results we went ahead and deposited additional funds,” she said.

The money is deposited in amounts lower than $250,000 so that it is entirely insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and can be accessed on a weekly basis by account holders.

Staff writer Jackie Borchardt contributed to this report.

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