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PSB approves bond issues

By Staff, 10/30/19 9:51 AM

PRESCOTT – Prescott’s School Board approved resolutions to move forward with bond issues for the construction of a new primary school at its October meeting Tuesday evening.

Dan Lovelady, with Security 1 Finance, told the panel the bonds of $6,475,000 would start accruing interest on Nov. 1, though they were sold on Oct. 16 at a rate of 2.75884 percent to First Tennessee. He said three firms bid, but First Tennessee had the lowest rate.

He reminded the panel the bond underwriters could take up to 2 percent of the financed amount and said after all the legal and issuing fees are done the district will receive roughly $6.3 million to use for construction of the new facility. Farmers Bank and Trust of Magnolia will be handling the payments and the loan.

Lovelady pointed out the money from these bonds can only be used for what was listed on the election ballot for the millage increase. Any money left over after construction is done, he added, can be used for modernization of existing structures or upgrades to facilities. He added the Internal Revenue Service could audit the construction expenditures to make sure the money was spent as required, so recordkeeping is important. However, he also said this rarely occurs.

The board also approved a bond refunding issue which would allow Security 1 to sell the existing bonded indebtedness of $8,130,000 if it can get a lower interest rate. Lovelady compared this to refinancing a house to either lower payments or use the equity for improvements. He told the board if it can get 2.6 percent interest it could save $224,595 over the life of the bond, but rates move so this figure can’t be guaranteed.

He said any money from refunding the bonds could be used for any legal school expenditures the board and district want, but added it should be a one-time expenditure because this is one-time money only. The board approved a resolution to allow the firm to seek the best rate, while the district can accept or reject any or all offers.

As the meeting began, a new board president was selected, Jo Beth Glass. This was done as the former board president, Patricia Blake resigned her post before her term was up. Glass was the vice president at the time. The board voted for her to be president until the November school election on Nov. 5. Reed Koger was tabbed as the new vice president.

Enrollment in the district is down. The total number of students enrolled in the Prescott schools is 920, with 312 in Prescott Elementary School, 309 in Prescott Junior High School and 299 in Prescott High School. At the end of school last year, the student population was 950.

Nancy Kenworthy, Aramark Food Service director, presented the board with a monthly newsletter, saying the company has done a lot of community outreach and has worked closely with the Kiwanis Club, along with providing food samples as a presentation at PJHS parent’s night recently. The company also hosted breakfast with the Curley Cubs and is working to be more inclusive.

She said more options are being offered to students in grades 5-12 as they have 10-15 selections daily, not including fruit. Some of these options include a sandwich or salad bar, but the one that appears to be the most popular is the hot wing line. Two options have also been added at PES, a sandwich and salad line.

Kenworthy said Aramark looks to do more catering this year and would like to provide a meal for board appreciation month in January. She said the cafeteria is capable of doing shrimp or prime rib, but only for the board.

When asked about waste, Kenworthy said they do batch cooking and using a computer system only cook what’s needed for each day’s meals. To date, she added, waste has been dropped 19 percent over last year.

The board also discussed its six-year master plan, which has to be approved annually. The board was told the plans can be changed or pushed out but anything not in the plan can’t be done if the district expects to get money from the state in its partnership program. The board was also told only projects that keep students “warm, safe and dry” tend to be considered by the state. A project discussed was the need for a new roof for the sports complex.