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 CAB Could Borrow $1.5 Million

March 26, 2008 - With tardy property tax disbursements expected again this spring, the Charles A. Beard School Board took the first step last week toward borrowing as much as $1.5 million to help the school corporation meet revenue needs.

The school board voted unanimously at its March 18 meeting to give CAB's business manager, David Bundy, permission to advertise for bids on tax anticipation warrants that would secure a loan of up to $1.5 million. The bids from private banking institutions will be opened by the board's finance committee on April 15. Bundy told board members that last year Rush County gave CAB its spring tax draw in late August, while Henry County didn't provide its until early October. He said he had received no indication from either county that the spring tax payments would be made any earlier this year.

Besides late property tax draws, Interim Superintendent Ray Pavy said school funding could also be hindered by the new property tax reform bill signed into law last week. If the new law reduces property tax collections, he said state funding should make up the difference, but added that recalculation of state support may not happen until all 92 counties have certified their assessed values.

According to Pavy, Henry County is one of 12 or 13 Indiana counties that have approved certified assessed property values. He said Rush County has not certified its assessed values yet.

Pavy told board members that if spring property tax installments were received on time, CAB would not need to borrow money. However, with debt service payments due in June, he said borrowing is necessary for the corporation to avoid getting a bad "rating" that could make it more difficult and expensive to borrow money in the future.

"We don't have so many of the pieces right now," Pavy told board members. With respect to the loan amount, he said the school corporation was estimating high to make sure there would be enough money to get to September or October.

Both Bundy and Pavy said advance property tax draws may make it unnecessary to borrow the full $1.5 million. Saying he had requested advances for CAB to be paid March 28 and May 6, Bundy noted that a little more than $300,000 in advance draws was received last April.

In other business last week, board members were given an update on the March 8 break-in at Knightstown High School. Bundy said glass had been broken out of seven doors and that a desk and two cash registers had been damaged.

Bundy said damages, including overtime pay for a custodian who helped clean up the mess, were estimated to be about $1,800. He said this was $700 less than CAB's insurance deductible.

Pavy told the board that the investigation into the break-in is still ongoing, and he credited CAB employees for their response to the incident. Bundy said there are plans to install security cameras at KHS, both inside and outside the building.

In personnel matters, the board approved hiring Philip Ortman, a KHS graduate and current college student, to provide summer help maintaining CAB's grounds. The board also approved maternity leave for one of its teachers, starting on or about April 28 and going through the end of the current school year, not identifying the teacher due to health privacy laws.

(More coverage of the CAB School Board’s March 18 meeting will appear in next week’s Banner -- Ed.)


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