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 CAB Bond Refinancing More Lucrative than Expected; Board Deciding How to Spend

July 29, 2009 - The Charles A. Beard Memorial School Corporation's refinancing of debt on Knightstown High School ended up being a little more lucrative than initially thought.

At the CAB School Board's July 21 meeting, Superintendent Gary Storie updated board members on the recent sale of new bonds that were used to pay off an earlier bond issue from 2001.

"We came out pretty well," Storie told the board. Because of more favorable interest rates, the refinancing - a process called "refunding" - resulted in CAB getting a total of $2.26 million.

Of this money, $1.265 had been in a sinking fund since the 2001 bond issue. The remaining funds were generated through the better interest rates and the decision to extend repayment on the new bonds an additional two years, to 2024.

The board voted 4-3 last month to spend $1.1 million of the money on major capital improvements at Knightstown Intermediate School, with another $900,000 going toward constructing needed athletic facilities at KHS. The remaining funds, Storie said, would, beginning in 2011, go toward reducing annual debt payments by about $23,000.

In a related matter, the board voted unanimously to hire Schmidt Associates of Indianapolis as architects to work with CAB on the projects at KIS and KHS. Storie told the board that Schmidt Associates will prepare a proposed timeline to present to the board in a couple of weeks.

The board also voted to approve changes to CAB's field trip policies, introduced at a previous meeting, on a final, second reading. The board considered several proposed policy changes and amendments to handbooks on first reading at the July 21 meeting, including changes to the support staff handbook, the bus drivers handbook and the school board's policy manual.

At a special meeting two nights later, the board gave final approval to the changes to the bus driver handbook and changes to the board policy book dealing with background criminal checks on employees and applicants. Votes were not taken on the support staff handbook and other changes to the board's policy manual.

Board members voted at the July 21 meeting to change the night of their regular monthly meetings to the third Wednesday of the month. Storie said the second Wednesday, which the board had approved earlier in the month as its new meeting night, was too soon early in the month to be able to provide the board with needed financial information. The board voted during the July 23 special meeting to hold any needed strategic planning meetings or work sessions on the first Wednesday of the month.

A unanimous vote on July 21 switched CAB's long-term disability insurance to a new carrier, Madison National. CAB had previously gotten this coverage through a program offered by the Indiana State Teachers Association that is no longer available.

Lunch prices at CAB schools will remain unchanged for the 2009-2010 school year. Even with not raising prices, Storie said CAB's cafeteria program, which continues to operate at about $39,000 in the red, should continue to make progress and be back in the black by the end of 2011.

The board voted at the July 21 meeting to buy a used 1999 school bus for $8,495, with the trade in of one of CAB's 1995 models. The board also agreed to change the date of the 2010 KHS graduation ceremony t0 Sunday, June 6, in order to avoid conflict with Knightstown's Jubilee Days celebration on June 5.

Several personnel matters were also dealt with at the July 21 meeting. Details on those hiring decisions will be published in next week's Banner.


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