Repayment of bonds, cultural center discussed | Local education

NAPOLEON – Napoleon’s Regional Education Council approved a resolution for a planned issuance of repayment bonds from 2012, presented the five-year financial forecast, voted for a request for design-build services for construction of an outdoor education building at Napoleon Elementary School, and heard from officials, as well as students, about the Henry County Cultural Center (the former Napoleon Middle School building) .

In addition, the board heard from Rusty Bookman and Trent Hayden of Energy Optimizers, USA of Dayton, who presented information on possible projects. Meanwhile, Superintendent Erik Belcher presented information on a therapy dog ​​program, as well as a COVID-19 update (see related article, page A10).

At the September meeting, Michael Burns and Robert W. Baird & Co. were in attendance to give a presentation on bond redemption. Burns said if the Biden administration’s infrastructure bill passes, it would allow the district to refinance certain bonds issued in 2012 with the goal of building, expanding and renovating school facilities.

Burns explained that the district had repaid $ 16,900,000 of bonds of $ 30,800,000 issued in March 2020, but the remaining $ 13,900,000 is still overdue and cannot be repaid until March 2022.

The board passed a bond resolution in September that allows Napoleon’s treasurer, Michael Bostelman, to move forward with bond refinancing if the infrastructure bill passes.

During Wednesday’s meeting, the board approved Robert w. Baird & Co., as underwriter for a planned issuance of repayment bonds with a maximum principal amount of $ 11,635,000. According to Bostelman, the resolution allows the district to get its “ducks in a row” when it comes time to refinance.

“It allows us to put everything in place, so when we’re ready to refinance, we can move forward,” Bostelman said. “Setting up the underwriter allows them to start working on the official statement and submission to the rating company, instead of having to do it later. It may be getting close enough that we can’t do it until March as the weather is getting longer, we could just wait until March. “

The savings for district taxpayers could amount to around $ 2 million, according to Bostelman.

Bostelman also presented the five-year budget forecast, noting that until the payment of the new state funding formula is made, which will not take place until at least in December, it will not be able to not present a clear picture of the forecast for this year, or move cheeky.

“We’re really taking a stab in the dark here as to what we’re going to have (in terms of state revenue),” Bostelman said. “The most significant changes we’ll see are in our unrestricted funds and purchased services, as the new formula opens up registration for unrestricted grants and assistance. We are a free registration district, so it will appear that we are receiving less funding.

“We’re pretty consistent with where we were in May, but with our forecast all negative (every five years), it’s time to start looking at some sort of direct debit request in 2022 or 2023, and also look at our staff levels. Bostelman added. “As people retire, we may not be able to replace some of them. We have a good cash balance (currently over $ 16 million), but once you start spending a deficit it can go down quickly. “

The board approved the forecast.

At the September board meeting, Superintendent Erik Belcher said he met with representatives from the Henry County Cultural Center. Patricia Wiemken, vice-president of the center, addressed the board of directors on Wednesday, asking members for an extension of the original agreement.

In addition, community members and students from municipal schools in the Napoleon region spoke out in favor of the project.

“They showed me around the building, this is my first time going,” Belcher said in September. “The group then presented me with its business plan and its current position regarding the completion of some of the projects. They shared what it will cost to complete some of these projects, the funding they have and the funding promised. “

The organization has until June 2022 to receive an occupancy permit for a redeveloped building that meets code requirements. Otherwise, the part that does not meet the requirements must be demolished.

At least that was the arrangement with Napoleon City Schools when the cultural group – then known as the Napoleon Civic Center Foundation – entered into a purchase agreement with the school board in 2017.

The board listened to what Wiemken and what the public had to say, but took no action regarding an extension.

Business Manager Cory Niekamp shared information about an outdoor education building at Napoleon Elementary School, which would be paid for with ESSER II funds.

The building would include an education space, toilets and a mechanical room.

The approximate cost of the building would be $ 180,000, which does not include design costs, design-builder costs, administrative costs, permit fees, furniture, fixtures and equipment.

The structure itself would be a shelter house type room, with windows / screens and 10 tables, with a sidewalk leading to the school.

“The biggest excitement is that this is going to allow our science classes to do so much outdoors,” Belcher said. “Our science teachers have been involved from the start and they are delighted. The building will also be used when we host cross country, soccer and softball events on the property.

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