Penn-Trafford weighs funding options
By Rossilynne Skena Culgan
Published: Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
Penn-Trafford School District officials are considering four options to finance a proposed high school renovation project, expected to cost $32 million.
Board members plan to debate and choose an option in November. That decision could impact the scope of the project.
Two financial consultants updated school directors about the state of the volatile bond market and its effect on the district, providing four choices:
• In one scenario, Penn-Trafford would finance the project at $32 million over an extended time period of 161⁄2 years with no tax hike, Superintendent Matt Harris said.
• In another, the $32 million cost would be spread over 12 years with a tax increase of 1 mill per year for two years.
“They would have to raise millage one year at a time for two consecutive years, so it would be 2 mills total,” Harris said.
• In the third scenario, directors would borrow $26 million over 12 years with no tax increase, lessening the project's scope.
“It would result in looking at the project again to see what needs eliminated,” Harris said.
• Finally, the district could borrow $10 million per calendar year. That scenario would fund smaller projects with no tax increase and could entice banks to buy the debt.
“Whatever borrowing you do, we're going to want to know that you're comfortable moving forward,” said Christopher Brewer a partner with Dinsmore & Shohl's Public Finance Practice Group.
This summer, school directors decided on the $32 million budget for renovations at the high school campus. But the bond markets have been volatile since officials last discussed the rates, Harris said.
Renovations at the 41-year-old high school are expected to include updated heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems, additional science labs and auditorium upgrades. Plans call for the addition of 66 parking spaces and improved cafeteria and kitchen equipment.
“We did tell the public no tax increase,” board member Nick Petrucci said. “When we think about the four options, we did tell the public no tax increase.”
In other business
• Board members approved a contract for the district's paraprofessionals, maintenance workers, custodians and secretaries.
The three-year contract includes a raise of 1.4 percent the first and third years, with no pay increase the second year, business manager Brett Lago said.
The agreement also ensures the district will not outsource the jobs for the term of the contract.
• A student branch of the Westmoreland Community Federal Credit Union will debut this month at the high school.
Students can open savings and checking accounts, make withdrawals and deposits, and apply for a credit card and loans.
“The whole purpose of this is to teach students how to manage their finances,” student teller Matt Senkow said.
The teller station in the cafeteria will be open Wednesdays and Fridays.
Several school board members praised the program.
“I think it's a great idea,” Petrucci said. “The kids get used to growing money and saving money.”
Rossilynne Skena is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-836-6646 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Westmoreland man’s walk in Niagara Falls State Park wasn’t allowed, police say
- Judge to Cook Township drug suspect: Get new friends
- Homicide charge added in Derry death
- Murrysville police will get raises in 5-year pact
- Greensburg Salem raising funds for fitness equipment
- Pittsburgh man charged with threat to witness
- Mt. Pleasant board to vote on contract with Volz
- Tentative plea deal with Westmoreland drivers reached in turnpike toll fraud
- Yukon shelter group at odds with former leader
- Potential management contractors for Westmoreland Manor screened
- Scottdale council to meet Monday