South Putnam bond refinancing to save more than $240,000

Thursday, September 24, 2015

The South Putnam School Board has approved a resolution to combine two separate bonds in an effort to save taxpayers money.

Superintendent Bruce Bernhardt explained refinancing the bonds is similar to refinancing the mortgage on a home. By combining the bond for Central Elementary and Reelsville Elementary buildings with the bond for the administration center, the school is able to save $247,160 over the life of the bonds.

Attorney John Zeiner explained the savings on the bonds will be generated through a reduction in interest rates. Currently, the school is paying about 4 percent interest on the bonds and refinancing will cut it down to 1.71 percent.

Financial adviser Steve Meno noted at the last meeting the savings between the projects included in the resolutions takes into consideration any soft costs, including the appraisals.

In addition, a subsequent resolution released the former Reelsville Elementary building, which was closed at the end of the 2011-12 school year, from being under a bond. Without a lien on the property, the school will be able to do with the building as it pleases, Zeiner explained.

Meanwhile, the board approved the placement of the Youth Football League field to be built on the north side of the varsity practice field.

Youth league representative John Tomaw explained the original placement near U.S. 231 ran into a couple of issues, including a Vectren line running through the area. After attempting to move the several feet to avoid the line, the field would have then been directly under an electric line.

He noted building up the field behind Central Elementary will help with any flooding issues on the terrain.

Board president Wesley Hacker asked if the placement would cause any issues with other sports already working in the area, such as cross country. Tomaw said there would be no conflict.

Tomaw added in the future, the Youth Football League would like to include restrooms and a concession stand, but for now it is focused on funding the field.

While an access road is not on the radar, Tomaw said he would like to have some sort of handicapped accessible walkway put in place in the future.

Bernhardt noted last Friday was the official count day in which the Department of Education (DOE) determines the number of students used to determine the school's funding.

He explained it will be a couple weeks before the school finds out the ADM (average daily membership). The DOE reviews the reports turned in by the schools, which includes making sure more than one school is not claiming the same student.

Bernhardt said he believes South Putnam may be down about 10 to 12 students, which includes students from each school and several grade levels.

In other business, the board:

* Approved the master contract with the Classroom Teachers Association, which included a $500 raise across the board.

* Recognized the following students of the month: Central Elementary fourth-grader Evan Hinkle, Fillmore Elementary fourth-grader Lincoln Hostettler, middle school sixth-grader Cada Remsburg and high school junior Logan Vandermark.

* Approved the resignations of middle/high school custodian Sherry Brooks, mower Mark Carr and Central Elementary food service worker Jeslyn Ronan.

* Approved the hire of the following extracurricular activities: John Briones and Brice Hill as girls' elementary basketball coordinators; Logan Grzesiek and Trevor Yates as assistant baseball coaches; Michael Fenneman as seventh-grade basketball coach; Amanda Graves as assistant softball coach; RaeAnne Kimmel as assistant girls' swimming coach; Heath Pruitt as assistant boys' swimming coach; Brady Rhodes as varsity baseball coach; and Joe Migliano as middle school football coach.

* Approved the hire of Central Elementary Special Education teacher Jamie Nees.

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