MPS moves forward with $2 million loan
By By Georgia E. Frye / staff writer
June 8, 2004
Meridian School Board members voted Monday to borrow up to $2 million in bonds for three years to fund school repairs on nine of the district's 14 campuses.
The vote came after the school board received no objections from the public by Monday's 5 p.m. deadline.
School board attorney John Compton said the board's next move is to find a bank that will loan the money. He said he does not know what kind of interest rate the school district will receive.
The district plans to borrow up to $2 million for building, plumbing and drainage repairs; school officials said they likely will need about $1.75 million to make the repairs.
Compton said the school board will borrow the money no later than September and that some work could begin during the school year. The bulk of the work, however, will be done during the next three summers.
The loan will be financed with a property tax increase of 3 mills, which would raise about $675,000. Taxes on a $35,000 home will increase about $5, while taxes on a $100,000 house will increase about $20.
The tax increase would be removed after the loan is re-paid.
Suzanne Smith, chief financial officer for the school district, said interest on the loan will cost about $127,000 over three years. She also said the school district has the same tax rate as it did in 1996.
Smith said the Meridian school district has about $4.3 million in reserve funds. But she said the school district would be placed in financial distress if it used those funds for building repairs.
Here's a look at repairs the Meridian Public School District plans to complete with a loan of up to $2 million. The work is scheduled to begin this fall and the loan will be repaid in three years.
Oakland Heights Elementary School: Plumbing, $239,783
Poplar Springs Elementary School: Plumbing, $279,688
Marion Park Alternative School: Plumbing, $76,130
Magnolia Middle School/Parkview Elementary School: Plumbing, $361,503
Meridian High School: Plumbing, $20,000
West Hills Elementary School: Plumbing, $289,515
West End Elementary School: Drainage, $120,000
Oakland Heights Elementary School: Roof, $250,000
Other Expenses: Engineer/architect fees, $98,000; bond attorney fees, $16,000.
Source: Meridian Public Schools