Pursuing Excellence for Tomorrow's Challenges
1. Why would you borrow $1 million more than the budget?
The District monitors financial markets, bond issuance cost and capital needs in making borrowing decisions. While costs are low, some additional funds are borrowed to provide opportunity to achieve value for our taxpayers where such opportunities arise.
2. Can the $11 million bond be spend on projects other than the projects listed on the budget, such as for the design team that has been solicited for a new elementary school on Amicks Ferry Road or to fund building a new elementary school that the board has not yet approved?
The District can spend monies borrowed under the 8% provisions of the law on qualified capital projects. These monies are not available for operational expenses. Please understand that these monies are the proceeds of the bond issuance, as the District does not spend the bond. The bond issue is a debt instrument issued to obtain funds which are repaid to bond purchasers pursuant to the terms of the instrument. The expenditure of bond proceeds is always subject to the District’s policies regarding budget approval as well as other legal requirements imposed by state statute and the bond indentures. The district approves budgets for all capital expenditures.
3. If the $11 million-dollar bond can be spent on projects other than those listed on the budget, can you provide a list of those projects?
Again, the bond is not spent. However, no projects have been identified or approved that would be responsive to your question.
4. Will the bond be used to offset other funds spent from other accounts such as the million dollars used to purchase the Amicks Ferry road site last summer, which, according to Ms. Baumgartner, was paid for out of the $38 million dollars in Fund Balance that has been over-collected in the past from taxpayers?
No determination has been made that proceeds from this bond issue will be used for the Amicks Ferry site. You are incorrect that the fund balance is “over-collected”. Fund Balance is a working capital amount which is required so that the District can manage its finances and meet its obligations in a timely manner. Because tax revenues do not come in evenly, the District, like every other entity which collects and remits funds for expenses, must have adequate cash reserves so that it can pay its expenses when due. Since property tax revenues compose the largest component of the district’s revenue, and those come in during the middle of a budget year, the district must have adequate cash on hand to manage its operations from the beginning of the fiscal year until the funds come in – which is the fund balance. Having a fund balance avoids the necessity of borrowing monies to meet early year obligations through Tax anticipation notes and maintains a solid credit rating – and concomitantly lower borrowing costs for the District.
5. Are you budgeting 8% money again to build a school on Amicks Ferry Rd., are you budgeting overages collected from taxpayers to build the school or will you hold a bond referendum?
The fund balance, which you mischaracterize as “overages collected from taxpayers’ is an operating fund and is not used for capital projects. The District could choose to use 8% funds for construction of it could conduct a bond referendum. The Administration has not made any recommendation nor has the Board made a determination as to how the next school constructed will be financed. This will be done in a public forum.
6. Why is it that the Board doesn’t publicly vote on budgets for all projects that the 8% money is planned to be used, instead of just one of them?
The Board votes on all capital budgets. To the extent that your query is seeking comment on unused 8% monies, the Board only obtains 8% monies by issuing bonds. Issuing bonds requires a public vote and the board generally votes on a budget for the use of those funds contemporaneously with the decision to issue bonds. There is no budget for unused 8% capacity until a determination of need is made. The Board also votes on all operating budgets in order to effectively and efficiently run the District.