North County school board members discussed lease-purchasing their multipurpose building and various other financial matters during its meeting at North County Primary Thursday evening.
Board President Randy Hubbard reported he and Superintendent Dr. Jeff Levy recently attended a meeting with the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) to see what sort of options might be available for lease-purchasing the multipurpose building behind the high school.
The building, which houses athletic practice areas, a weight room and coaches’ offices, was funded with capital monies. Levy said the goal is to sell the building to a bank, create a lease-purchase agreement and buy it back over a number of years, until it could be paid off with a no-tax-increase bond issue that would accomplish additional initiatives. The aim is to shore up unrestricted reserves to prevent the district from having to deficit-spend, Levy said.
Board members also agreed to hire Daniel Jones & Associates of Arnold for a consult audit that would lead to a capital improvement plan. Levy said in the event the board decided to place a no-tax-increase bond issue before the voters, they would want to be as transparent as possible to the public about their future plans. He said he hoped the public would supply input on those plans.
In all, Levy said, the idea is for the district to first determine whether or not to pursue the lease-purchase; second, consider a no-tax-increase bond issue; third, address a 28-cent tax rollback; fourth, see what happens to assessed valuations, since so many Missouri entities were affected this year; and fifth, pursue a facilities plan based on school and public feedback.
In other news, the board:
• Approved updates to Board Regulation 4320, regarding absences, vacation and leave.
• Approved switching cell phone plans, which will save the district $2,500 this year.
• Approved a tuition increase of $200 for students attending UniTec Career Center.
• Read updates to Board Policy 6320 related to internet safety.
• Heard an explanation regarding the Crisis Fund which helps students in emergency. It’s funded by payroll deduction among the employees.
• Reviewed revisions to superintendent’s evaluation form, which will be voted on next month.
• Discussed the possibility of setting up a 501.c.3 for taking in donations and memorials. A separate entity would need to be established.
Sarah Haas is the assistant editor for the Daily Journal. She can be reached at 573-518-3617 or at email@example.com.