Lindbergh bond sale to save district taxpayers $2 million

By MIKE ANTHONY

The sale of nearly $7.2 million in bonds awarded through the federal stimulus package will save Lindbergh School District taxpayers more than $2 million in interest, according to Chief Financial Officer Pat Lanane.

The Board of Education voted unanimously last week to approve the sale of the bonds awarded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act that will fund Proposition R 2008 projects.

Board members voted in June to apply for $11.7 million in Qualified School Construction Bonds. State officials announced in July the school district would receive $7,165,910 in the federal bonds, which will carry an interest rate of 1 percent.

Including Lindbergh, 33 school districts throughout the state will receive a total of $141,441,000 in federal bonds to fund construction projects financed through voter-approved bond issues.

District voters last November approved Proposition R 2008, a $31 million bond issue. In March, the board voted to approve the sale of $10 million in bonds to fund Proposition R 2008 projects.

Regarding the bond sale, Lanane told the school board Sept. 8, “… Our interest rate on these will be 1 percent. That is a huge savings. We estimate the savings to be well over $2 million for the taxpayers. Now what does that mean, this $2 million? It’s not $2 million more for the district to spend on a construction project. It’s no more money. It’s not another project now that will get done. It has nothing to do with the money side coming to the district.

“It’s all the money side that has to do with taxpayers in terms of paying that debt-service tax rate for principal and interest, and this $2 million savings is on the interest portion. So it’s real money. It’s real savings …,” he added.

The Board of Education had placed Prop R 2008 on the ballot with the goal of providing a long-term solution to space concerns at Sperreng Middle School.

More than 1,300 sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders are jammed into the middle school that was designed to accommodate 800 pupils when it opened in 1970.

While Sperreng will remain a sixth- through eighth-grade middle school, funds from Prop R 2008 will be used to convert Truman Elementary School to a sixth- through eighth-grade middle school, add onto Crestwood and Long elementary schools, convert Concord School to an elementary school and construct a new Early Childhood Education building next to the Administration Building.