Ferry school board mulls investment opportunity | News, Sports, Jobs
MARTINS FERRY — The Martins Ferry City School District will have some additional funding available in coming years and the board of education is considering how best to make use of it.
On Tuesday, Treasurer Dana Garrison reported that the district will see a savings of about $200,000 from refinancing the district’s certificates of participation on some major projects that concluded in 2021.
“Which was a loan that we took out for the roof and the hill slips. … In 2048, we will have it paid off. Over that period of time, we would save approximately $200,000 if we refinanced it,” Garrison said.
Breaking down the savings, $200,000 saved over 24 years comes to an annual savings of about $8,333.
She said the district also has the option of borrowing money, since she said interest rates are currently low. She did not have the exact rate on hand.
Superintendent Jim Fogle said the district eventually will have to address several other projects, including a new heating, ventilation and air conditioning system, asphalt for the campus and turf for baseball and softball fields. He said more work to address heaving floors likely will be needed in the future.
“We sat down, looking to the future of things that we know are coming,” he said.
Garrison said to take out another loan, the district would need to have a specific project in mind. It would need to begin spending the money in six months and have the work completed in five years.
Garrison added that any loans would require the district bus garage or office building as collateral, since the other buildings are already collateralized for the roof and slips loans.
“We originally borrowed $11 million to do the roofs and the hill slip,” she said.
Garrison said the district would be best positioned to take advantage of the rates if the board borrowed money in March, which would mean passing a resolution during the February meeting.
The board likely will schedule a special meeting to discuss the best options going forward and what needs are most immediate.
“We’re researching all this to see what our needs are and what we would have to do to meet those needs,” Garrison said after the meeting.
Fogle also announced he has been speaking with Ohio University Eastern about the possibility of offering college credit courses at the high school. He said high school students have had the opportunity to attend courses at the college, but they have never had the opportunity for a “blended” schedule in the high school. He said the district would be responsible for providing the room.
He said the opportunity would be ideal for students who have the majority of their required high school credit hours and want to get a head start on college courses.
Fogle said OUE would provide a grant opportunity to pay for equipment including screens and speakers for distance education. The classes to be offered have not been determined, but they could kick off by fall of 2024.
Also, the district has received $30,000 from the Ohio Attorney General School Law Enforcement Linking Safety Notification Grant for upgrades including updating camera systems. Fogle said the cameras will be connected to the police department.
In other matters, board members Charles Probst and Allen Marangoni were sworn in. Probst was reelected in November with 1,099 votes and newcomer Marangoni was elected with 733 votes in a five-way race for two seats. Former board member Nick Stankovich was voted out with 699 votes. Jeremy Shrodes got 539 votes and Bill Suto 622 votes.
In other matters, the board voted to change its meeting time from 5:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. the second Tuesday of each month. Meetings will also be held in the high school library rather than in the district office building.