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Fillmore Central sells facility bonds for HVAC project


Fri, Nov 30th, 2012
Posted in Preston Education

By Jade Sexton

Patty Heminover of Springsted financial advisors gave the Fillmore Central School Board some great news at their regular meeting on November 27. She informed the board that the alternative facilities bonds were sold at a competitive sale that day, and that Fillmore Central had an upgrade in their Standard and Poors rating. The district is now rated at an A+, which helped them tremendously in receiving a lower interest rate.

The bonds were sold at lower than projected at 1.74 percent. Heminover said it is the lowest interest rate the district has ever had.

“That is really darn impressive,” said Heminover. She presented the board with a plaque congratulating them on their rating improvement.

The bonds will be used to pay for the HVAC project at the high school, which will begin in May.

Part of the reason the district was able to get a better rate was the increase in general fund over the last five years. According to Superintendent Richard Keith, the OPEB bonds from 2009 have saved the district $100,000 a year, and the HVAC project done at the elementary building has saved the district in operating costs. All of these things have helped them build up the general fund from $200,000 to over $2 million in the last five years.

Audit Report

The board approved the audit report as presented by Jason Boynton of Smith & Schafer. Boynton shared that the district is doing well, and has a strong general fund balance. The student numbers, which had been declining for several years, remained steady compared to 2011.

Boynton went over the expenditures and revenues for the year. The Community Ed. expenditures were up a little, and the food service revenues and expenditures were both up. The food service has a zero balance, which Boynton said most schools have. The district is paying down their debt service fund.

Boynton said it was a strong year for the general fund, and the OPEB bonds in 2009 have helped the district a lot. Chairperson Ross Kiehne thanked Boynton and everyone for their work.

“We are definitely going in the right direction,” said Kiehne.

Technology Committee

Keith told the board that the technology committee is moving forward with the one-to-one program in which the students in grades 9-12 will be receiving Mac Air laptops. They would like to get the policies and financing in place to start this program for the 2013-2014 school year. Keith explained the year after that they would like to include grades 7-8, and would like to get more iPads in the elementary school.

The infrastructure upgrades needed for this technology was completed over the summer, and the district hired Barb Thompson full time for technology needs.

Personnel

The school board approved the resignation of Scott Stockdale as a custodian. They also approved the hire of Jill Miller as a paraprofessional at the high school for 6.75 hours a day, and Genevive Hanson as a day care aide. Keith Larson was hired as the head coach for baseball.

Other Business

Principal Heath Olstad told the board about a program headed up by Melanie Olstad in which some high school students will be volunteering their time to help out at the Harmony Habitat for Humanity house.

The board approved another program in which people can bring food shelf donations to all home games in December and receive one dollar off the price of admission to the game.

A change to the employee life insurance policy was approved, with a lower premium and more coverage.

The board approved an open enrollment request from a family that moved to the Lanesboro School District.

The Truth in Taxation hearing will be before the regular school board meeting on December 18 at 6:30 in Preston.

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