Eastwood considering options for new school


PEMBERVILLE – The Eastwood Board of Education continues to crunch numbers on the costs to voters for
building a new elementary building on its main campus.
At Monday’s meeting, John Adams from Fifth Third Bank detailed several options, from a traditional bond
issue to Qualified School Construction Bonds.
The latter funding, which comes from the state, is an unknown until Aug. 3. The board plans on meeting
again sometime around Aug. 7; a decision for the Nov. 3 ballot is needed by Aug. 20.
"We only have a couple of weeks to get all these ducks in a row," said Superintendent Brent
Welker after the meeting.
Adams said one option the board has is a 38-year bond issue. His figures show a 2.7-mill bond issue would
bring in $10.4 million needed for construction.
"It tends to lower the milllage … but it increases your interest expense," he said.
A 28-year bond issue would go on the ballot as 3.1 mills.
Using QSBC funds, the ballot millage would be 3.47. The advantage is that there is 0-percent interest and
it’s paid off in 15 years.
"You’re saving a ton of interest – that’s the good news," Adam said.
The down side is that today’s taxpayers are footing the bill for a building and other improvements that
will last longer than 15 years, so it’s not as fair, he said.
Adams also ran a report showing a combination of a 28-year bond issue and QSBC, which would appear as 2.9
mills on the ballot.
QSBC funds can be 0-percent interest because the government gives a 7-percent tax credit to investors,
Adams said. The big question is whether there are investors who want to buy these bonds.
Nationwide, Adams said, there have been six issues at 0-percent interest totalling $120 million.
Welker said another consideration for the board is delaying collection on a bond issue if it is passed in
He said theoretically, it could pass in November and not be collected until January 2012.
"That might make a ballot issue more appealing to taxpayers who want to support the district but are
concerned about their economic situation," Welker said after the meeting.
The district pulled a 3.2-mill bond issue off the May ballot because of the declining economy. It would
have collected $10.4 million to pay for the new elementary building – buildings in Luckey, Pemberville
and Scotch Ridge would close – as well as upgrades to the middle school and high school.
Also at the meeting, the board:
¥ Voted to change the 2009-10 calendar, restoring spring break. Students and staff will now also have
April 7, 8 and 9 off with school ending June 3. Graduation is June 6. If needed, Presidents Day will be
the first make-up day for inclement weather days. The board had adopted a calendar with a shortened
spring break, expecting the state to reduce calamity days from five to three. That won’t happen, though,
until the next school year.
¥ Increased lunch prices 10 cents for students and 25 cents for adults. The new prices are $2.35 for
elementary students, $2.85 for secondary students and $3.25 for adults.
¥ Approved having a celebration lunch for staff in appreciation of the district earning another
"excellent" rating from the state. The board started the lunch last year when Eastwood
received its first "excellent" rating.

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