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Jefferson West board trims interest free loan in half

by Clarke Davis

Last month the Jefferson West school board was informed about a pool of federal interest-free money it could tap and voted to get their name on the list for $1 million.

Armed with a few more facts, Monday night the board scaled back the request telling Superintendent Scott Myers to outline some district needs more in line with $500,000 to $600,000.

The deadline to pass a resolution will come at the Dec. 13 board meeting when a final decision has to be made.

Myers learned of the available funds on Friday prior to the Monday meeting in October and knew he was rushing the board.

“The loan would actually be negative interest,” Myers said, telling the board he thought it was an excellent source of money to take care of a number of problems in the district. Of the $1 million, the district would only have to repay $931,000.

“There is nothing on the list that hasn’t been discussed previously,” he said.

Had the board gone for $1 million, the district would have been required to repay the loan at a rate of about $61,000 a year for 15 years. That is equivalent to 2 mills in the Jefferson West district. The money would come from the capital outlay fund.

Board member Jeff Van Petten was the first to speak to the loan, stating he would support something half that size.

Myers’ list of projects all deal with building upkeep, improvements, and energy conservation. Replacing windows in the elementary building, remodeling some bathrooms, replacing old air conditioning units, adding insulation, etc. throughout the district.

Where the board stopped short, is including improvements to the sports complex and building a new bus barn and administration complex.

The board members appeared comfortable with saddling the district with debt — especially money that is interest free — for the upkeep and repair of buildings. It was not comfortable spending money on other matters without a public vote.

Member Linda Jones-Giltner opposed the loan in October because, she said, it did not include spending on technology. She supported a scaled back version.

President Dreana McClurg said she had the opportunity to talk with a number of patrons the past few weeks and found all to be supportive of obtaining interest-free money.

The resolution that will bind the district will be voted on at the Dec. 13 meeting.

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Posted by on Nov 15 2010. Filed under County News, Jefferson West School District, Schools. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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