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CCR-1 District Refinances High School Bond, Saves Over $200K

By Mike Scott

The Clark County R-1 School Board just save the the taxpayers some money.  A lot of money.
On Thursday night, March 13, the board took action to refinance the high school bond .  The resulting savings total $200,289.50 for the district.
The 3.8 million dollar bond for the high school was originally passed in 1995.  That bond was refinanced in 1998.
On Thursday night, Greg Bricker of George K. Baum & Company, was on hand to explain the refinancing to board members.
He explained that there was $2,676,000 remaining on the bond, and approximately $2,250,000 was remaining principal, with the balance being interest.
“The current 75 cent debt service levy will generate enough money to pay off this bond two years early,” Bricker told the board.  The current bond was through 2015, but will now be paid off in 2013.
“We always make a practice to offer the bonds to local banks one day before our regular investors,” Bricker added.  “I’m very pleased that Exchange Bank, Peoples Bank and Kahoka State bought the entire issue.”
Bricker urged the board to plan several years  ahead, and the current debt service levy will generate more money than needed to repay the debt.
Future possibilities could include a no-tax-increase bond issue for facilities improvement at some point in the future, or a reduction of the debt service levy while increasing the school’s operating levy.  Both plans would require the approval of voters, and neither plan is currently under consideration by the board.
The board also discussed the continued decrease in attendance in the district.  February’s average daily attendance was 818.24, down 29 students from 2007.  The current  year to date attendance average of 852.9 is down about 25 from 2007 levels. 
“ADA is continuing to be a problem for us and I don’t know what we can do about it,” Superintendent Ritchie Kracht said. 
The attendance average is important to the district because much of the state funding formula is based on the number of students attending.
In other business, the board approved using Clark County Cash from the Kahoka/Clark County Chamber of Commerce as an attendance incentive for summer school.  Students with perfect attendance will receive five dollars per week, and a $30 dollar bonus at the end.  If a student misses one day, they would receive $25 dollars, and $15 if they miss two days.
“The Clark County  Cash is a good move for us,” Kracht said.  “It keeps our taxpayers money in the county.”
The board also reviewed four bids for mowing at Running Fox.  The low bid from Dalmatian Lawn Service (Brian Ferell) of $58.50 per mowing was accepted.
The board also approved overnight trips for the FFA and FCCLA groups to their state conventions, and for the eighth grade to travel to Chicago instead of Huntsville, Alabama.