District 117 Adding Construction Bonds With No Additional Taxes

By Blake Schnitker on May 18 at 4:54pm

Bonds could be the option used for District 117’s renovation projects.

At last night’s District 117 Board meeting, the board asked Superintendent Steve Ptacek to look into possibly issuing 10 million additional dollars in construction bonds to be paid from sales tax than what the board had previously anticipated.

Ptacek tells us what the original bonding plan was:

“Originally the sales tax was supposed to produce only 24 million dollars in bonds, that was the original feasibility study. When the actual official next stage feasibility study came in, it said we could sell more and we decided to sell 32 million dollars worth of bonds all paid for by the sales tax. This is not any impact to the property owners at all. And we were able to sell 32 million dollars of bonds, knowing there was even some more room inside the reaming sales tax revenue.”

After meeting with PMA, who did the feasibility study, Ptacek says that that original number has greatly increased:

We recently met with, PMA, our municipal advisors and we have 11.7 million more in bonding potential now that they’ve more thoroughly examined  the impact the sales taxes affected on our revenue stream. With that, it was originally started at 24 million dollars in potential bond sales. It’s getting up to about 43 million dollars which means we definitely have enough money for 1 more and basically one and a half more, elementary schools to do a Lincoln construction project job just off the remaining sales tax.

The biggest benefit to this, according to Ptacek, is that property owners in Jacksonville will not see their taxes increase. Sales taxes will be able to cover the total of these bonds.

Ptacek also explains what kind of renovations and construction these bonds could be used for:

Well we’ll probably talk about picking one of the schools to do next summer that will have a thorough Lincoln type job. Which basically is a strip down to the basic walls and floors and rebuilt back up to make it an equivalent new school. The other excess money we’ll have to start thinking of some other ways we can generate some other revenues including even our local fund balances to be able to get that money amount up to being able to do two schools in the same fashion. That would give us the equivalent of a new Jr. High, Lincoln Elementary and two other elementaries.

The next regular district board meeting is June 21st.