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    Posted: Sep 07 2018 at 9:00am


Source: REGULAR MEETING OF THE MONROE LOCAL SCHOOL DISTRICT BOARD OF EDUCATION JULY 30, 2018

FACILITIES UPDATE - Mr. Catanzaro reported that he and Mrs. Kathy Demers met with representatives from the Ohio School Facilities Commission. He said the District ranks 27 on the State’s funding list. 

The State expects to fund 10 districts a year so we will have to wait at least two years or more. In the meeting, the State said we could consider the Expedited Local Partnership Funding. That is where we spend local money up front and then be reimbursed on the back end by the State. He explained that if our building cost $20 million dollars, then we would build the building with local funds, and then when State funds are available, we would be reimbursed. Mr. Catanzaro said we could raise $24 million dollars and be within our allowed debt limit. He said we would still have to meet all the rules in order for us to be co-funded. Mr. Catanzaro said our percentage will continue to change until the project was started. 

Mr. Leeds asked if the percentage is guaranteed. Mr. Catanzaro said the percentage would be locked in at the start of the project. He said however, that enrollment projections are not locked in, and neither is the amount we would receive from the State. However, if the State has no obligation to provide funds. Mr. Leeds said that what costs $24 million dollars today may cost $30 million dollars tomorrow. Mr. Cagwin explained his experience at Talawanda Schools with the ELP program. Mr. Leeds said that it may be impacted by who becomes Governor next time, and that it may be better to wait. Mr. Catanzaro shared information about debt capacity indicating that in order to borrow $26 million, we would have to jump through hoops. He said we could borrow $24 million given our legal debt capacity according to our attorney. 

Mr. Catanzaro said we need guidance from the Board, whether we consider ELP or consider short-term fixes. Mr. Leeds said he would like a guarantee from the State that they would provide support at the back end. 

Mr. Catanzaro said the State won’t guarantee how much credit you earn until you complete the project. Dr. Cagwin said they have never guaranteed an amount. However, Monroe has earned the trust of the community. Dr. Cagwin said at Talawanda they paid for the third elementary and the State provided the funding for the new high school. 

Mrs. Stone said this would be a good topic for a Board Retreat. Mr. Leeds said we need to make some trips to Columbus to talk about our concerns. 
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