Education

Oswego School District plans $18 million bond issue

District 308 to use money for building maintenance projects

OSWEGO – Oswego School District 308 owns and operates 22 school buildings. They are not cheap to maintain.

A new roof for a single elementary school building alone can run in the neighborhood of $750,000.

That’s why school district officials are planning a six-year capital improvement program designed to catch up on some deferred maintenance and to make scheduled repairs as they come due.

The district’s Board of Education held a public hearing Jan. 10 on its intention to sell $18 million in bonds, with the revenue directed to the district’s working cash fund.

District 308 Chief Financial Officer John Petzke said the bond sale will cost $54 a year in property taxes for the owner of a home valued at $300,000, over the six-year repayment period.

School building roofs, heating and air-conditioning units, parking lot repairs and other basic infrastructure projects are to be funded from the bond issue, Petzke said.

The district’s Finance and Facility Committee, composed of administrators, school board members and residents, is working now to identify maintenance projects.

It is required that the district spend 85% of the bond revenue within three years and all of the rest after six years, Petzke said.

Meanwhile, the board also authorized the issuance of up to $20 million in tax anticipation warrants, which effectively operate like a short-term loan, to meet the district’s cash flow needs until property tax revenues become available later in the year.

District 308 is the seventh largest school district in the state, with an annual budget of $240 million and an enrollment of more than 17,000 students.