Highland News Leader

Highland to issue balance of working cash bonds passed in 2012

The Highland School Board approved the issuance $5.5 million worth of bonds at its meeting May 22.

The total includes the remaining $3 million of working cash bonds available to the district and $2.5 million in health/life safety bonds.

In 2012, voters approved $5 million in working cash fund bonds. Currently, the district has only used $2 million of those bonds, but there is a deadline for using the money. If the bonds are not issued by November, the district’s ability to tap into them would be lost.

District Business Manager Tim Bair said the working cash bond money will be used to make up for money the state of Illinois owes the district but has yet to pay.

“The funds will be deposited into the working cash fund to help us manage potential cash flow issues as we cannot rely on the state for timely and adequate funding,” said the District Business Manager Tim Bair.

The school district currently has only received one of four quarterly payments this fiscal year from the Illinois State Board of Education, according to Bair.

“We may be $1.5 million behind in categorical payments from the ISBE on June 30,” Bair said.

During a school board meeting in February, Bair also recommended the board issue health/life safety bonds at the same time as the working cash bonds, because it would help the district save on issuance costs and to get a better interest rate. The board decided to take up the advice.

The board previously approved issuing approximately $6.45 million in health/life safety bonds. However, the district has identified more life safety, fire prevention, energy conservation and school security work that needs to be done, thus requiring the additional bonding.