At Monday night’s the Edwards County Community Unit School District 1 Board of Education meeting at west Salem Grade School, the board again was not able to move forward on the “motion for consideration and action on a resolution providing for the issue of $1.8 million General Obligation school Bonds, Series 2020, of Community Unit School District Number 1, Edwards, Wabash, Wayne and Richland Counties, Illinois for the purpose of increasing the working cash fund of said school district, providing for the levy of a direct annual tax sufficient to pay the principal and interest on said bonds, and authorizing the sale of said bonds to the purchaser thereof,” as presented in the agenda.

According to an Ice Miller Legal Counsel publication about financing options using bonds for Illinois school districts, “bonds are a form of debt. In the public sector, “borrowers” or “issuers” of bonds are states, cities, villages, school districts and other local government entities that need money for a variety of reasons. Typically, a school district will want to issue a bond and pay principal and interest over time to spread out the burden of paying for new schools, improvements and other capital needs over the period of expected useful life of the financed assets, as opposed to increasing taxes or impacting its budget over a shorter term. Borrowing by a school district is highly restricted and must be done in accordance with Illinois law.”

Previously, Superintendent of Schools, David Cowger explained that the money from the sale of the bonds would be used for projects at the schools such as heating and air conditioning (HVAC), lighting and drop ceiling upgrades, as well as potentially exploring solar energy.

Since the January meeting, Kings Financial Consulting Inc., on behalf of ECCUSD #1, negotiated a sale of the bonds with Citizens National Bank presented by E. Timothy King, who discussed the process and terms at length.

The resolution document delineated that the notice of intention of the sale of the bonds was published in the Navigator, “and no petition with the requisite number of valid signatures thereon has been filed…requesting that the proposition to issue said bonds,” and with the appropriate notification of the public hearing Jan. 20 permitting written or oral testimony from the public, only one person, Nick Wiseman, provided testimony.  Therefore, the School Board has determined that the sale of the bonds are in the best interest of and necessary for, the district.

For the rest of the story, check out this week's Navigator.