The Board of Education for Rome City Schools met Monday evening at 5:30 p.m. to finalize the selling of a single issue bond in order to fund the Rome College and Career Academy which broke ground in May.
The board signed three resolutions Monday night during the called meeting with board attorney Chris Twyman and Bill Camp of Raymond James Public Finance both giving brief presentations to the board.
“It’s a safe investment,” Camp said of the bond.
Superintendent Lou Byars said Camp has been working with the Rome Building Authority while they have been working towards selling bonds to fund the Rome College and Career Academy.
Selling bonds through the Rome Building Authority would give Rome City Schools an estimated sum of $23.8 million to put towards the Rome CCA which the system will receive by June 27th. Byars has expressed in previous meetings that he would like the Rome CCA to be ready by the 2020-2021 school year.
Waiting on funds from the 1-cent education local option sales tax would delay the project up to five-years, Byars said. Due to a continued rise in construction prices the school board and the city decided to re-purpose the Rome Building Authority to sell bonds so to receive the funding for the project upfront and then pay the bond back with monthly ELOST collections.
The principal of the bond will be paid back by 2024, Camp said, with an interest rate of around 1.4%. Byars added the rate may change slightly as the bond matures.
The system anticipates around $500,000 a month in ELOST funding with some months showing slightly higher collections. Camp said he is hopeful that after the Rome CCA is complete there will be about $1.5 million left over that can be applied to other construction projects in the system.
The bond will be issued under the City of Rome’s name, Twyman said, and the school system approved signing a resolution agreeing to be financially responsible for the bond. The board also signed a resolution giving the Rome Building Authority permission to sell bonds.
The city school board will meet for their regular board meeting on Tuesday with caucus at 4 p.m. followed by their regular meeting at 5:45 p.m. both are open to the public.
This meeting will include the second public hearing of the Fiscal Year 2020 budget and those who wish to ask questions about the systems budget may sign up at the meeting. The board will also conduct a second reading of eight board policies.