Saturday, May 26, 2018
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TPS puts off bond issue because of missing members

Plans to begin the process to allow Toledo Public Schools access to additional money for the district's building plan were postponed yesterday because there wasn't a full board of education to discuss a ballot initiative.

The district is considering putting language on the Nov. 4 ballot that would allow it to revise the November, 2002, bond issue passed for the Building for Success plan and therefore make available up to $37 million for capital improvements, Treasurer Dan Romano said.

But with board president Steven Steel and member Darlene Fisher on vacation, the district decided to postpone any discussions and reschedule the meeting, although no new date was set yesterday.

Right now the district technically can issue bonds for that $37 million because of the bond issue passed in 2002. But because of the way the issue was worded the district cannot actually spend the money, Mr. Romano said.

If language is put on the ballot and approved, the $37 million could be spent on capital improvements outside the state-supported building plan, district officials said.

Included in the renovations that likely would be funded are work at five schools that are outside the Building for Success plan - Waite High School, the former DeVilbiss High School that now houses Toledo Technology Academy, and Crossgates, Glendale-Feilbach, and Harvard elementary schools.

There also is discussion about taking Scott High School out of the plan and renovating it with local dollars.

District officials stressed that approval of the bond would not mean additional tax dollars.

If the bond issue goes on the ballot in November and voters say yes to allowing the district to spend that $37 million, home-

owners will not pay more than the millage approved in 2002, Mr. Romano said.

But if the school board decides not to go to voters for the change or if the issue is voted down in November, Toledo taxpayers will save about 20 percent over the course of the 28-year levy because the lower amount of bonds will be issued, Mr. Romano said.

The 2002 bond issue authorized the district to issue enough bonds to cover 23 percent of the costs of the district's building plan, while the Ohio School Facilities Commission provides 77 percent of the dollars.

At that time, the building campaign was about $800 million, so the district was authorized to issue bonds for about $183 million to pay its share.

Since that time, the entire campaign has been scaled back to what is now an about $636 million plan, and therefore the local bond amounts were reduced to $146 million.

The difference between the bonds that could be issued in 2002 - $183 million - and what bonds issued for the current project - $146 million - is where the $37 million comes from, Mr. Romano said.

The school board has until July 22 to submit the initial paperwork to explore a bond issue and until Aug. 21 to decide to put it on the November ballot.

During its brief meeting yesterday the board of education approved a contract for improvements to Arlington Avenue for the new Bowsher High School.

Geddis Paving and Excavating Inc. of Toledo will do the work for $98,211.

As part of an agreement with the city of Toledo, the district will be reimbursed for the road improvements, Superintendent John Foley said.

Contact Meghan Gilbert at:

or 419-724-6134.

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