Winchester CUSD board members discuss financing options
The Winchester Community Unit School District 1 Board of Education met Nov. 29 to discuss financing options.
Here are the meeting's minutes, as provided by the board:
November 29, 2016 Minutes
November 29, 2016
The Board of Education, Community Unit School District No. 1, 149 South Elm Street, Winchester, Illinois counties of Scott, Morgan and Greene, met in Special Session on Tuesday November 29, 2016 at 5:00 PM in the Board of Education office located at 149 South Elm Street in Winchester, Illinois.
President Steve Moore presided over the meeting with the following members answering roll call: Norine Jefferson, Ron Coultas, Steve Weder, Joe Little, Jeff Hurrelbrink and Wayne Brown. Also present were Superintendent David C. Roberts, WGS Principal Andy Stumpf, District Bookkeeper Angie Slagle and Administrative Assistant Becky Lashmett.
WGS HVAC PROJECT
Representatives from CTS Group presented cost estimates and options for the HVAC project at WGS. Under consideration for the heating/cooling is a geothermal system for an estimated cost of $2.1 to $2.4 million, as well as a series of conventional roof top units for $1.3 to$1.6 million. Included in both cost estimates would be stand-alone systems for the office area and gym, hot water heating, automated climate control and CO2 detectors.
In addition to the HVAC, cost projections and scope of work for replacement of the gym floor and bleachers, flooring replacement, security measures for entrances, restroom renovations and moisture problems were presented, all of which could be covered under a Health Life Safety amendment totaling approximately $5.8 million. Additional items proposed for consideration included lighting upgrades, door replacement, restroom renovations, flooring, ceiling replacement, and other improvements.
Kevin Wills of First Midstate presented financing options for different scenarios. The December 2016 levy of 35 cents for the current Bond & Interest will pay off the bonds and without taking any action – property tax payers would see a decrease in assessment. A HLS amendment of approximately $2.1 million could be sought and the tax rate for 2017 would be roughly the same as 2016 with little to no change in property taxes.
Options to garner funds for some of the additional improvements include an issuance of Working Cash bonds and a transfer of sales tax revenues. The tax rate for Bond & Interest would be approximately 44 cents for $4 million, 62 cents for $5 million and 80 cents for $6 million. If only a portion of the sales tax monies were to be used for the payments – the tax rates would increase another 4 cents.
After discussion of options, including construction costs for a new building, the general consensus was a reluctance to significantly increase property taxes or to divert all sales tax revenue and to limit the bond issuance to between $3 - $4 million. Board members were asked to prioritize the proposed improvements and a tally will be developed as the decision must be made at the December 13th meeting.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 7:00 PM.