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A-R OKs $1 million QZAB funding

By Staff | Jul 17, 2009

ARMSTRONG – The Armstrong-Ringsted Consolidated School District Board of Education Thursday night approved the sale of $1 million in bonds to fund school building improvements.

The plus is that the district will just have to repay $806,000 for the $1 million in funding.

The money will come from Qualified Zone Academy Bonds and be repaid through the state penny tax for education. Authorized uses include anything that qualifies under the Physical Plant and Equipment Levy (PPEL). The money raised may be used for the same purposes as PPEL – to improve school infrastructure but not for new buildings.

Discussing QZAB funding before the board approved the resolution authorizing the bond sale, Superintendent Randy Collins said the agreed-upon amount of $806,000 was locked in on a contract.

Deb Obbink, district business manager, said the district should get the money by July 30. Another Iowa bank will be the holding agent and Bank Midwest of Armstrong will receive the funds when requested by the district.

Interestingly, A-R was on the vanguard of Iowa school districts applying for QZAB money.

“The state is now aggressively pursuing these programs,” Collins said. He said the money can be used for upgrades or facility improvements.

Collins said there is now a similar program that provides money for new construction. “I think it’s something we want to pay attention to,” he said.

The board approved the resolution for sale of the bonds as well as a resolution to use the state penny tax receipts to pay for the bonds.

In other business, the district approved spending $62,410 for the second phase of the climate control project. Both the first and second phase are to be paid with the QZAB funding. Collins said that by upgrading environmental controls for the Armstrong building the district can cut current electric use by 20-30 percent, making a five-year payback for the improvements. The upgraded system will allow temperature control in every room, Collins said.

The board also approved a number of policy revisions for graduation and commencement requirements and employee travel compensation.

It also approved hiring Matt Berninghaus as assistant junior high football coach.