Blue Ridge takes step toward bonds

FARMER CITY — The Blue Ridge School Board took another step toward issuance of $550,000 worth of bonds by choosing an underwriter and bond counsel. 

The board passed a housekeeping motion naming First Midstate Inc. as the underwriter and Cutler and Chapman as the bond/disclosure counsel to the underwriter. 

The bonds would pay for construction work and combat budgetary repercussions that could stem from a tax freeze being mulled by the Illinois General Assembly.  

At a previous meeting, Superintendent Susan Wilson told the school board that the health life safety bonds would be a one-year issue aimed at increasing the district’s debt base. 

Wilson said if the tax freeze proposed in the state legislature is passed, the maximum allowed debt base would likely be whatever it is for the 2016 tax levy. If the levy specified in the tax freeze was for the following year, Wilson said the bond would be made a two-year issuance. 

Wilson said the bonds would be purchased by the district and paid from reserves, “so that there’s no impact on the taxpayer.” 

The bonds would be used to cover construction work at Schneider Elementary and entryway work at the high school. They would also increase the district’s debt base from $214,000 to $814,000, Wilson said. 

Also at last Wednesday’s meeting, Wilson said the board would have to change its current policy in order to allow the district to purchase its own bonds. 


Other Business 

-The board is considering adding an elementary school science teacher and a curriculum coordinator. 

Wilson said the science teacher would be similar to one at the junior high school and would have to be elementary certified and have a science endorsement. 

The curriculum coordinator would provide instructional coaching for educators while supporting curriculum implementation, would plan professional development for the district, and would help evaluate new curriculum and materials. 

Wilson said this person would not conduct teacher evaluations and would not be full-time. She suggested a retired teacher or administrator be hired for the position, and she said a retired person could only work 100 days making no more than $30,000. They can also not receive benefits. 

She said both of the proposed positions could be quickly eliminated should the board be in a budget crunch at any time. 

-The board passed an intergovernmental agreement with Deland-Weldon which would have to be approved by that school board at its next meeting. The agreement allows D-W students to take part in some Blue Ridge courses at a cost of $350 per pupil per course per year. Wilson said Blue Ridge students would be prioritized for all courses, and none would miss out on any opportunities because of the agreement. 

-The board also heard technology updates at the meeting, seeing presentations from junior high and elementary students. 

Jaton Shaffer, Connor Jenkins, and Marcene Salmi, Mason Bradford and Courtney Shane were the students that demonstrated three projects: electrical conductivity, Civil Rights events, and computer programming to showcase the variety of projects in our classrooms. 

The Civil Rights project was also part of a literacy grant written by BRIJHS teacher Paige Trimble and district librarian Amy Brokaw.  

Information from administrators and the superintendent are available elsewhere in this issue. 

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-Jerry Nowicki

Categories (2):News, Other


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DAVID WARNER wrote on April 14, 2017 at 1:04 am

Wilson said if the assessment solidify proposed in the state lawmaking body is passed, the most extreme permitted obligation base would likely be whatever it is for the 2016 duty require. On the off chance that the demand determined in the assessment stop was for the next year, Wilson said the bond would be made a two-year issuance. Do my Research Paper for Me

josephhudson wrote on July 09, 2017 at 4:07 am

Taking the step towards issuance of more than half a million dollars’ worth of bonds was a great move by the Blue Ridge school board. This will serve to ensure speeded up construction work and deal with the budgetary repercussions which would stem from tax freezes which may happen depending on the decisions by the Illinois General Assembly. Aside from that, the board seems to be really progressive minded this year with a host of progressive plans slated for the year with the aim of benefitting the students and ensuring wholesome learning. Bravo!


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