Board issues working cash bonds

The Heritage School Board wants to upgrade technology within their district.

Some board members feel it would be best to make the technology purchases using the cash the district has on hand.
Others wanted to sell working cash bonds to fund the purchase.

During the November meeting, the board voted to sell working cash bonds for half a million dollars after a lengthy discussion.
The bonds were allocated for technology upgrades.

The board asked Superintendent Allen Hall to see if they could sell $200,000 of the bonds and hold the remaining $300,000.
Board member John Lannon said he thought the board should not issue the bonds and instead spend money out of the reserves.
Lannon said he did not feel it was appropriate to issue bonds to pad the school's reserve fund.

The board had to issue $500,000 worth of bonds, there was not a smaller option available.

"I have a hard time borrowing money just to put in our reserves," he said.

Other board members said they thought it was too good of an opportunity to pass up.

"I worry about not taking this opportunity when interest rates are so low," board member Kimberly Keniley-Ashbrook said. "We don't know what the interest rates will do."

Keniley-Ashbrook said she thinks the board committed to using the money to purchase the technology the teachers asked for and needed to teach students.

Other board members said they did not agree to purchase all the technology the teachers wanted.
Lannon said he was concerned that if they issue the bonds and use the one percent sales tax money to pay the interest on the bonds that they would be cash strapped if something major broke.

"As a business you do not go out and borrow 500,000 so I have 250,000 in your account," he said.
Keniley-Ashbrook argued that using one month of the sales tax money would not hurt the district.
"It's not money we do anything for," Keniley-Ashbrook said. "It comes to us and we are lucky we get it."
Lannon said he wants to pay for technology out of the reserves and if the district needed to issue bonds at a later date to do so.  Board member Bruce Bryan said he thought the board would have to issue the bonds within the next year due to a lack of state funding.

"State funding is tanking," he said.

Board member Darrin Tate supported the issuance because the district did have the money to pay the interest and he felt the board would be frugal with the money.

Keniley-Ashbrook said she felt the board needed to move now because of the state funding situation.
"What is coming up is not going to be pretty," Keniley-Ashbrook said. "I really feel like we need to do this now instead of spending down."

Keniley-Ashbrook motioned to issue the working cash bonds.  Board member Laura Benschneider seconded.
Motion approved 6-1.

Categories (2):News, Education


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