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School Board approves $40 million borrowing plan

August 25, 2004|by RICHARD F. BELISLE

waynesboro@herald-mail.com

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - The Waynesboro School Board Tuesday adopted a resolution to incur up to $40 million to pay for needed repairs to the district's high school and middle school buildings.

The vote was 7-2 with board members Leland Lemley and Todd Rock dissenting.

The resolution does not authorize the board to issue bonds at this time, merely to incur the debt.

Once the board decides on how the money will be spent, it will issue bonds at the rate of $10 million a year over four years between 2005 and 2008.

The board also might decide not to spend the full $40 million once it gets into detailed discussions on what repairs and renovations are needed.

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That scenario did not sit well with Rock, who said once the money is authorized the board will spend it.

Board member Chris Devers said the board will exercise discipline and won't spend any more than is needed.

Lemley, a fiscal conservative on the board, said he opposed the resolution because it would raise taxes too much.

The bond issues would raise taxes by about 3.2 mills a year over the four years if the board decides to issue all of the bonds as scheduled, school officials said last week.

One mill represents $1 for every $1,000 of assessed property value.

The board would incur no fees if it decides not to issue any of the bonds, an unlikely scenario, predicted the members and their financial advisors Tuesday.

Waynesboro school board members, like their counterparts across the state, are under a Sept. 3 deadline to incur debt for school construction projects under Act 72. The new law requires school boards that miss the deadline to take future bond issues to referendum.

It also changes the way school districts raise taxes by cutting property taxes and raising earned income taxes. Any difference would be made up from taxes on slot machines that the Legislature approved this year.

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