Belleville District 201 school board moves forward with issuing bonds

News-DemocratApril 14, 2014 

Belleville School District 201 school board unanimously approved a resolution that declares the intent to issue $2.2 million in working cash fund bonds during its meeting Monday night.

Assistant Superintendent Brian Mentzer said the district will be selling bonds and receiving proceeds from those bonds to increase the district's working cash funds and help the district's long-term financial plan.

"This will not impact the tax rate," Mentzer said, but it will help stabilize it. "It's extra re-assurance that our tax rate will remain as it is."

District administrators and school board members have been discussing issuing working cash fund bonds for more than a year, Mentzer said, as a "long-term debt management strategy."

Issuing the bonds in the near future, he said, would allow the district to take advantage of its credit rating and the current interest rates.

Mentzer said the district will receive $480,000 less from property taxes this year due to a nearly 3 percent decrease in the equalized assessed value.

Mentzer also discussed the district's most recent payment from the state of Illinois of nearly $1 million at the end of March. Though the district is appreciative of a payment from the state, Mentzer said it's only a portion of what it should be since the state isn't paying it's full obligations to school districts.

"It's a significant proration of what the dollars once were," he said.

The state still owes the district $2.1 million as of April 7, according to Mentzer. "It certainly would make our budget look drastically different," he said, if that money would arrive.

In other business, the school board approved employing Jacob Halde as a science teacher at Belleville East High School next school year.

Contact reporter Jamie Forsythe at 239-2562 or jforsythe1@bnd.com.

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