BB School Board Forms Leasing Corporation in Preparation for Potential Preschool Project

BROKEN BOW—No official decision to move forward with the preschool project has been made yet, but the Broken Bow School Board did approve forming a lease agreement corporation in preparation of the potential new addition to North Park Elementary. (Click here to view the May 20 story and the April 23 story.)

During Monday night’s regularly scheduled meeting, the board approved in a four-to-one vote a “resolution authorizing the creation of the Broken Bow Educational Facilities Leasing Corporation and authorizing the District to enter into one or more lease-purchase agreements with said Corporation in an aggregate principal amount of not to exceed $1,750,000, for the purpose of leasing certain educational facilities and equipment from the Corporation.”

First National Capital Markets Public Finance Vice President Tobin Buchanan appeared before the board and said this resolution provides the parameters to form the corporation and will benefit the district by being tax exempt. Buchanan said the lease corporation could potentially save the district $250,000 over seven years.

“Establishing a leasing corporation is allowable by statute…what it does is–the reason there is a statute in place—is to assist a school district in building a project and saving money financially,” Buchanan said.

Superintendent Darren Tobey said this agreement will allow things to be put in place if the board decides to move forward with the preschool project. Tobey said he is still waiting on a final design meeting and blueprints from BD Construction, and the board will then start taking bids on the project.

Buchanan added that by entering the agreement the board still has the flexibility to make annual payments and then own the addition. Forming the corporation (consisting of the superintendent and three board members) also allows for things to be put in place so that the district can access the money when/if they chose to move forward with the project.

“This resolution then is for you guys to approve the authority to form that leasing corporation. That group would be made up of the superintendent and three board members,” Buchanan added.

Buchanan reiterated that the agreement simply sets up the parameters for the board to access money up to $1.75 million and make payments for up to seven years. He said the district will budget for the annual payments and the leasing corporation will assist with finding a financial institution and take the board through the tax exempt process.

“This is a parameter resolution meaning up to that amount. So I heard you talk a little bit about the cost tonight. If you decide that you’re going to use some district funds and you only want to take out a lease for $1.2 [million] or $1.5 [million], that just has to be decided by the time you finally lock in the rate and say we want the money in 30 days so that’s when you would set that amount,” Buchanan said.

Also on Monday night board policies were reviewed such as specific language for smoking, threat assessments, technology, animals, and student fees for activities and 1:1 devices. Actions on the board policies and district handbooks were moved to the July meeting.

The board passed a motion approving all duel credit classes taken at Broken Bow Public Schools to be weighted. For example A=5pts, B=4pts, C=3pts, D=2pts, F=0pts. Last year’s juniors who took duel credit classes have been grandfathered in according to the board.

Treasurer J.B. Atkins said the board is still behind in expenses compared to last year. Jeff Ellis said many students have been invited to and have been competing in recent all-star, state, and national competitions such as the Shrine Bowl Game, All-Star game, wrestling duels, rodeo, and HOSA nationals.

Kim Jonas said North Park Elementary is staying busy with the Super Kids Club, summer lunch program, and an ESU 15 migrant program. Maintenance staff has been busy updating some paint and carpet in various locations and some administrators are moving offices.

Several resignations were approved but no new hires were submitted for Monday night’s meeting. A work session will be held on July 1 at 7:30 p.m. and the next school board meeting is scheduled for July 15 at 7:30 p.m.