By Marcy Stamper
The Methow Valley School District is proposing to borrow $2 million so it can compress the schedule for facilities repairs and upgrades into four years instead of six.
The upgrades, supported by a $4.5-million levy approved by voters last year, could be done more cost-effectively by combining some projects and taking advantage of lower costs, said Methow Valley School District Superintendent Tom Venable.
If the district borrows money to condense the schedule, it would use revenue collected from taxpayers during the last two years of the six-year levy to repay the principal of the loan. Interest on the loan — estimated at $22,350 a year for five years — would be paid out of the district’s general fund, which means the loan would not increase property taxes.
By borrowing money, the district won’t have to delay a project — such as the new track — while waiting for the levy money to come in, said Venable. The district can also consolidate projects to schedule work more efficiently. Other projects on the facilities improvement list are new flooring and furnishings for the elementary and high schools and an accessible playground.
The district hopes that by compressing the schedule, it can take advantage of low interest rates and lower costs for materials and labor. “We hope we will save money, but there are no guarantees,” said Venable.
In another financial matter, Venable will ask the school board directors to adopt a resolution to refinance $1.29 million in existing voter-approved debt. The bond would still expire in 2028.
Refinancing the debt is anticipated to generate a total savings of $125,000, which would translate into a decrease of about 1 cent per $1,000 in property valuation.
The district is holding a public hearing on the proposed loan on Wednesday (Oct. 26) at 5:30 p.m. in the school district office. People can also comment by emailing Venable at firstname.lastname@example.org.