State woes won't stop local school projects
“Every delay in these kinds of projects can cost a year,” McIntire said. “We’ve moving ahead.”
In November, voters within the school district authorized the issuance of up to $9 million in school bonds. McIntire said the state’s bond issues are completely separate from the local bond measure approved by the voters.
McIntire said the district will sell its own bonds, and a kick-off meeting with the bond sellers will be held in San Francisco on Monday, Jan. 5. He also said the Lassen County Board of Supervisors must take action before the bonds can be offered for sale. McIntire expects the matter to come before the supervisors next month.
The sale of the bonds should be completed by mid-March, and hopefully the funds will be deposited in the county treasury by March 30. Once the money raised from the sale of the bonds arrives in Lassen County, the district may begin to spend that money.
McIntire described the funding process. Once the school districts pass a bond, the state matches those dollars for new school construction projects. There is a 60/40 split on modernization projects. It is still unclear if the project at Diamond View School will be a new construction or a modernization project. The state generates its share of the funding from the sale of bonds, but that funding source has dried up due to the state’s financial crisis.
McIntire said if the state runs out of matching funds, the district can secure “bridge financing” until the state comes through with its funding.
“Once we’re in line for funding, we know were going to get the state money,” McIntire said. “We’ll have to wait and see as we get closer. We’ll have to deal with the reality of the state’s problems when we get there, probably in June of July. It’s not affecting us today.”
According to the superintendent, “The state’s liquidity problem is a more immediate concern.”
The uncertainty in the state budget may have an effect on the day-to-day operations of school districts statewide.
McIntire said the state has told school districts not to expect any cost of living adjustments this year. He said the SSD could live without that extra funding, but if the state reduced the district’s revenue, it could cause problems.
“We’re going to watch our books very closely,” McIntire said. “We don’t want to run into any cash flow problems.”
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