MOUNT CARMEL — Wabash School District 348’s board of trustees agreed Monday to begin the process of renewing a working cash bond worth $2.6 million.

According to Tim King with King’s Financial Consulting, the district’s existing bonds will be fully repaid in December. King also told board members that the district has not levied at the maximum voter-approved fund rates for several years. He also emphasized that interest rates are near historic lows. Also, there is a potential for the state legislature to issue property tax freezes that would subject the district to tax caps in the future.

King said those are some of the reasons to consider renewing the working cash bond. With the proposed renewal the district’s reserves would be replenished by the $2.6 million with no impact on the current annual levy extension for the next two years.

The working cash bond is issued to increase the working cash fund balance and can be transferred when needed. The funds are tax exempt if used for capital purposes. There is a maximum of 20 years for repayment and must be repaid from seperate bonds and interest levies.

The district will conduct a public hearing in 30 days giving the public an opportunity to petition the renewal. If no petition comes forward, the district will have the authority to issue the bonds for the next three years.

King said the current timetable would allow for a public hearing in January with the adoption of the resolution in February. The district would have the funds in late February or early March.

Later in the meeting, Superintendent Tim Buss said the tax levy for 2018, based off of the 2017 year, would be $4,689,468 at 4.99 percent. The board will vote on the tax levy at the December school board meeting.

The board also heard school improvement plans from Mount Carmel Elementary School Principal Shelia Odom and Mount Carmel Grade School Chris Taylor. Those improvement plans along with a detailed summary of the Illinois State School District Report Card, are detailed in Sunday’s upxoming edition of the Mount Carmel Register.

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