The Board of Education is seeking community support of a $24.2 million referendum on the April 4 ballot. The Board voted 6-0 to bring this forward to the community to address the most pressing needs of the facilities including eliminating portable classrooms at Hadley Junior High, addressing infrastructure and improving safety.
Process and Timeline
At the Board meeting on Monday, March 6, Carole Pugh of Green Associates and Jack Hayes from FQC presented an update on our facilities plan.
for the presentation. They are currently in the planning and concept design phase. If the referendum passes, the district will engage in the beginning of schematic design, generating construction documents, bidding the projects and then to pre construction. This work takes approximately a year before any work can start on the addition and the major components of this plan.
Did you know?
The district has implemented a new five-year financial plan model, a new budgeting model, five-year capital plan, five-year technology plan, and a new five-year program review cycle. As a part of the budgeting process, the Board of Education has instructed the administration to develop a budget with zero increase in non-compensation spending for next year and zero increase in staffing for the next five years. This winter, the Board also solicited community volunteers to serve on a new Finance Advisory Committee and the group has met three times.
In addition, as a part of the program review process the administration has already identified cost saving measures in the areas of technology, telephone lines, transportation, and staffing. The district is still in the process of some program reviews including a possible energy audit to identify savings in utility costs.
What is the impact of my taxes if the community does support and what is the impact of my taxes if the community does not support the referendum?
In 2018, the District will pay off bonds that funded past building projects. This reduction of debt payments gives the community an opportunity to invest the $24.2 million to address some facilities needs at our schools and have a tax decrease over the taxes paid in 2016. For example: If a community member pays $8,000 in 2016, the District 41 debt portion of their tax bill would decrease by approximately $85.
If the referendum does not
pass, for a community member who pays $8,000 in 2016, the District 41 debt portion of their tax bill would decrease by approximately $199 on the District 41 debt portion of their tax bill.
What is the all in total principal and interest cost?
The 20 year total principal and interest payments for the $24.2 proposed referendum
bonds at an estimated all in true interest cost of 4.230% will be $38,476,708 million. With one more payment remaining on the previous bonds, the total of the bonds with principal and interest is $40,873,000.
Interest rates are subject to change and this information is intended as an estimate only; the actual interest rate will be determined at the time of the bond sale if the referendum is successful.
for more information presented by William Blair & Co.
Do we have reserves that can be used instead of a referendum?
The total District 41 fund balance per the 6/30/2016 Comprehensive Annual Financial Statement is $14,866,662. The fund balance is divided between restricted and unrestricted funds. Of the $14,866,662 in fund balance, $2,818,340 is restricted, which is used to pay for the district's IMRF, Social Security and debt obligations. The remaining $12,048,322 is the unrestricted fund balance. The unreserved fund balance as of June 30 of each fiscal year on a fully accrued basis (Education, Tort, Working Cash, Operations and Maintenance and Transportation) shall be maintained at 25% of operating expenses in order to continue to provide the community with uninterrupted programs or services.
Can we pay cash for some of the projects?
Due to the need to keep reserves at where they are now at approximately 25 percent, the district cannot pay cash for the projects proposed in the referendum. District 41 receives the majority of property taxes in two installments. The first is received in mid-June (about $22 million) and the second is received in mid-September (about $18 million) while the remainder flows sporadically, as paid by property owners ($1
million in October), etc.
The June payment arrives two weeks before the end of the fiscal year and is intended to fund the next school year, beginning on July 1.
This revenue is recognized as deferred revenue in the Financial Statements. The receipt of State and Federal Aid is unpredictable.
The State of Illinois is far behind on its payments. Our lowest cash balance occurs in late May of each year and generally falls to about $12 million.
A five-year program review cycle has started this year. The Board heard Programs Reviews on several different areas at the Feb. 21 Board meeting. On April 3 staff will present Program Reviews from the district on the following topics:
The remaining program reviews for the year will be presented in the Spring.
for the the five-year plan of program/service reviews.
Program Reviews provide an opportunity for the district to internally evaluate the program and determine the path for the programs moving forward.