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Waynesboro school board to save money by issuing bonds

August 23, 2010|By JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, Pa. -- Issuing bonds for school improvements made this summer could save the Waynesboro Area School District about $175,000 because of low interest rates, a financial adviser told the school board Monday.

Gregg McLanahan of Public Financial Management Inc., the district's financial consultants, told the school board it could save money by issuing bonds, rather than folding the $3.5 million project into an existing loan through Susquehanna Bank.

The McClure Co. of Harrisburg, Pa., has been overseeing energy-savings changes being made to Summitview and Fairview elementary schools as well as Waynesboro Area Middle School. The bulk of the work concerns the schools' heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems.

The schools will be ready for the start of classes Monday, although some lighting fixtures will be changed in the evenings, Superintendent James Robertson said.

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Business Administrator Caroline Dean told board members they will pay a penalty of about $8,000 to Susquehanna Bank and could pay a penalty to McClure Co. soon if it doesn't receive payment. They agreed to her request to use district reserve funds as a stopgap measure to pay about $2.5 million immediately to McClure.

"We could comfortably give them the majority of the money now," Dean said.

McLanahan said he'd return to a board meeting in September to report the results of the bond sale.

"This is one time we've really saved the taxpayers some money," board member Chris Lind said.

Board members voted unanimously to issue the bonds. They also said they want to settle any matters with Susquehanna Bank and pay McClure Co. as much as possible now.

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