Ramona school trustees consider $40 million bond

From left, trustees Bob Stoody and Rodger Dohm listen as trustee Kim Lasley says she thinks a potential school bond should pay off the district's decade-old loan as well as about $10 million to pay for roofs, air-conditioning and heating units, and other needs. Sentinel photo/Maureen Robertson
From left, trustees Bob Stoody and Rodger Dohm listen as trustee Kim Lasley says she thinks a potential school bond should pay off the district's decade-old loan as well as about $10 million to pay for roofs, air-conditioning and heating units, and other needs. Sentinel photo/Maureen Robertson

By Maureen Robertson

In a special meeting Monday afternoon, Ramona Unified School District trustees indicated their support for a $40 million bond measure on the Nov. 4 ballot.

Of that, $32 million would pay off a loan a previous board approved a decade ago and $8 million would pay for

school modernization and repairs.

"We're not taking any action today," board president Dawn Perfect said. "We're directing staff to pursue a path to pay off the COP."

Superintendent Robert Graeff is expected to present a specific bond proposal to trustees at a special meeting on Thursday, June 26, at 6 p.m. The meeting will be in the Wilson Administrative Center, 720 Ninth St.

Also at the meeting, trustees are expected to approve a proposed $47.3 million budget for 2014-15, a state-required accountability plan, a bond underwriter and bond counsel.

Ramona is one of three districts in the county reporting it may not meet its financial obligations in coming years.

Based on the proposed budget presented to trustees last Wednesday, the district will end the 2014-15 school year with an ending balance of $1.2 million.

In 2015-16 and 2016-17, however, the district anticipates ending the year with deficits of $2.4 million and $7 million, respectively. Facing loan repayments of $1.5 million in the 2014-15 fiscal year that begins July 1, $1.8 million the next year and $1.8 million in 2016-17 is only part of the challenge, Assistant Superintendent David Ostermann said.

The district faces increased health benefit, utility and California State Teachers' Retirement System (CalSTRS) costs. While the state's economy is improving, he said, the district, among other measures, is attempting to sell property it is not using and to balance decreasing enrollment while reducing some class sizes.

   
-

Comments

Be relevant, respectful, honest, discreet and responsible. Commenting Rules