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D. 202 may sell $10m in bonds to help offset pandemic costs, fund capital improvements (updated 02-10-21)

The Plainfield School District may sell up to $10 million in working cash bonds to ensure adequate funding for capital improvements this school year and for the next three school years.

District officials are taking this proactive step because of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the district’s budget both this year and in coming years until the economy recovers.

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The bond proceeds combined with $5.4 million in projected cost savings and increased revenues will help the district weather the ongoing pandemic’s financial impact.

The Board of Education approved a resolution of intent to sell the bonds at its January 25, 2021 regular meeting. It will hold a public hearing as required by law at 6:30 p.m. Monday, February 8, 2021. The Board is expected to vote on the sale at its March 15, 2021 regular meeting.

Community members can submit public comment by email on the proposed bond sale until 5:30 p.m. March 15, 2021. 

If approved, the bond proceeds will pay for about $4.8 million in scheduled and anticipated capital projects. Funding for this work otherwise may have had to come from the Education Fund, which pays for general daily operating expenses including salaries, programs and support services.

“The pandemic really hit our bottom line hard, as it did for every school district,” said Tony Arbogast, assistant superintendent for business and operations.

“This plan will create some fiscal flexibility, so we won’t have to put off necessary capital projects,” Arbogast said. “We can also keep as many cuts as possible out of the classroom and continue serving our students and families at the levels they need and deserve,” Arbogast said.

Currently, pandemic-related expenses stand at about $7.8 million. That includes:

  • Air filters -- $93,058.57
  • Hand sanitizer -- $282,730.87
  • Cleaning supplies -- $586,215.86
  • Laptops -- $1,732,200 (the first payment of a total $6,784,240.80 expenditure)
  • WiFi Hotspots -- $90,000

However, District 202 also realized about $5.4 million in pandemic-related savings from December 31, 2019 to December 31, 2020:

  • $3,389.272.39 – transportation salaries and contractual costs
  • $793,389.59 – food service salaries and contractual costs
  • $416,448.90 – substitute costs
  • $839,576.06 in new food service reimbursement revenues

 

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