Panhandle Approves Bond . . . Roof Bond

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With work nearing completion on the Lincolnwood High School roof replacement project, the Panhandle Board of Education took the next step in paying for the project during their meeting on Monday, July 15.

David Pistorius of First Midstate Incorporated was on hand to present the payment schedule for the bond, which had been sold. The bond totaled $485,000 and is scheduled to be paid back over eight years.

Pistorius said that the bond was unique in that it has a call feature that would allow the district to either restructure the bond or pay it off early after five years, rather than the normal eight.

He added that since the buildings first opened in 1967, three million dollars in health/life safety bonds had been approved.

With the resolution providing for the issuing of bonds approved at Monday's meeting, the next step for Pistorius is to file the resolution with the Montgomery County Clerk. The school will be wired the money on Tuesday, Aug. 6.

The overall cost of the project is approximately $765,000, with the district opting to use $280,000 of funds collected from the county's one percent sales tax for facilities on the project. Superintendent Aaron Hopper said that the board will be able to look at abating those bonds further in November or December, before the final levy is set.

Hopper also gave an update on the progress on the roof, saying that the contractor, Top Quality Roofing, was at the school on July 12-13, to do some dirt work after ruts were made during work in wet conditions. The company is also placing the roof panels on the building as well, one of the final steps of the project.

In addition to the roof project, Hopper said that the rooms the Regional Office of Education (ROE) will be leasing are scheduled to be ready by the end of the week, well ahead of the scheduled date of Aug. 1.

Board member Scott Cowdrey asked if there were any health/life safety items that needed to be checked before the ROE took over. Hopper said he believed that everything had been checked and that the ROE is the district's health/life safety inspector so he did not believe there would be any issues.

Hopper said that the junior high restrooms have also been updated and the gyms were currently closed for cleaning. Board President Terri Payne asked if the grounds at Farmersville Grade School had been mowed recently. Hopper said he believed they had been, but would check to be sure.

In addition to the bond resolution, the board also approved the FY19 cafeteria report and transportation report during the meeting. Hopper said that the district served 97,376 meals last year, which was down slightly from the previous year and the cost per pupil was up slightly. Both were due to a small decrease in enrollment, from 502 to 489.

Payne said she noticed a difference in the free and reduced  lunches. Hopper said that was most likely due to student enrollment as well.

Board member Dana Pitchford pointed out that breakfast purchases were also up. Hopper said that when he first started with the district, he estimated that 20 students used the program. Now, that number has increased to close to 150.

Hopper also said that the district did not have to raise breakfast or lunch prices and were audited and were in good standing. In the transportation report, Hopper said that the district drove 21,478 fewer miles in FY2019, including 13,000 fewer miles in daily routes. He added that the district had saved money on repair and maintenance with the purchase of new busses and the activity busses.

The board would enter into closed session at 7:25 p.m., reconvening at 8:31 p.m. Three motions would be approved: the employment of Jessica Deardorff as a Lincolnwood special education paraprofessional and Valerie Beiermann as a Raymond Grade School Title I paraprofessional for the 2019-2020 school year and the acceptance of Sandra Carron's letter of intent to retire as a district bus driver.

The board will meet next on Aug. 19, at 7 p.m. in the Lincolnwood High School library.

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