The Marceline R-5 Board of Education met in regular session on Monday night with all Board members present. The Board continued talk about the refinancing of some the District’s debt, and a possible no-tax-increase levy issue.
The meeting was called to order at 4:30 p.m. sharp in the District’s Central Office by President Tom Hauser. There was no public participation, and the consent agenda, as well as the meeting’s agenda, were unanimously approved after a motion and second by Judy Toops and Kim Corbin.
Superintendent Gabe Edgar reported on the continuing issue with the portion size of food in the District’s cafeteria, and students complaining of not getting enough food. Edgar reported that the Administration had come up with a solution.
The District will follow Federal guidelines on their first tray of students. All students will purchase this tray. But, students will have the option for an a-la-carte item at a cost of 75 cents. This item will vary from being a hamburger, a chicken patty, a rib sandwich, etc. A chef’s salad will be offered on Wednesday’s as the a-la-carte item, in an effort to test the viability of a salad bar.
Next, Cary Sayre presented a follow-up on the addition of a spring baseball team for boys, and a fall cross country team for girls to the R-5 activities budget. Sayre pitched the idea of dual participation between cross country/softball/cheerleading and baseball/track/golf.
Sayre noted interest from the community, and that numbers for the Marceline City League baseball/softball had increased from 85 last year to 234 this past summer. The Board expressed concern over dual participation conflicts with student time, and students taking priority of one sport over the other. The item will be reviewed at future Board meetings.
Superintendent Edgar presented a budget amendment similar to the one presented at the June Board meeting. The budget was made with conservative estimates, and this amendment provided more realistic numbers. The amendment was approved unanimously after a motion and second by Corbin and Toops.
Larry Hart and Brad Wegmann from L.J. Hart and Company were present to address the possible refinancing of some the District’s bonds. Hart and his company have worked with the R-5 District on nine separate bonds and refinancing’s since 1995. In that time, and according to figures provided by Hart, these works have saved the District $1,384,803 in future interest expense.
Hart cited the “fiscal cliff” that financiers are predicting at the national level, combined with low interest rates, and the possible need to reduce the debt service levy, as factors that make refinancing the District’s debt a good move.
Page 2 of 2 - If the District were to have to lower their debt service levy, they would have trouble getting bonds in a time of future need. The Board is considering a no-tax-increase bond issue in either April or later next year.