Elk Grove Twp. schools to borrow $30 million to fix leaky roofs, replace HVAC units
Elk Grove Township Elementary District 59 will borrow up to $30.6 million -- resulting in property tax hikes -- to help pay for an estimated $38.1 million in building projects that would fix leaky roofs and replace old heating and cooling systems in the next three years.
The school board voted 5-0 Monday night -- some members casting their "aye" votes begrudgingly -- to issue the school fire prevention and safety bonds.
The balance of the capital work at all school buildings would be funded by dipping into the district's $88 million reserve fund, cuts or a combination of both, officials said.
"Nobody wants to spend it, but nobody likes leaky roofs," said board Secretary Patti Petrielli.
"I know this is tough," added board President Janice Krinsky. "Nobody wants to spend this much money, but that's what it's gonna cost."
But Krinsky said it was an opportune time to issue bonds in light of low interest rates -- 1.34%, by one estimate -- and ahead of an anticipated $31 million in additional projects over the next decade that the district would have to fund through reserves and cuts.
For the owner of a $250,000 home, the proposed bond issue would result in an estimated property tax increase, above the 2018 taxes, of $34 in 2019 taxes paid this year, $39 in the 2020 taxes, $115 in each year's taxes from 2021 through 2025, and $103 in 2026's taxes.
Initial plans called for issuing as much as $39 million in bonds. But Illinois State Board of Education regulators later determined certain projects, including parking lot asphalt and secured building entrance vestibules, couldn't be deemed health, life or safety projects for which debt could be issued.
What hasn't changed, district officials say, is the amount of projects that need to be done, though cost estimates have lowered from $42.8 million in November to $38.1 million today.
That includes spending about $8 million next summer for roof replacements at Devonshire, Byrd and Grove schools, and less than $3 million for heating and cooling system upgrades such as boilers and pumps at Byrd.
The secure entrances at Brentwood, Clearmont and Low schools -- where visitors would be buzzed into the school office before going into the rest of the school -- could cost some $2.5 million. The other 12 district schools have such vestibules.
The board also approved a performance-based contract with Control Technology & Solutions LLC to oversee the work.