Lynne Hermansen
Special to The Gardner News
The Series 2016-A Bond Sale Resolution was passed by the Gardner Edgerton-School Board at their May 9 meeting. The projected close date for the delivery of bond proceeds is for Tuesday, May 17 .
David Arteberry, senior vice president of George K. Baum and Co., told board members the district had exceeded expectations as the district’s credit rating is positive.
“I have to commend staff and board’s approach taken to finances in the last few years of difficult times,” he said.
Request proposals were received by underwriting firms to purchase the bonds. Arteberry said  Stifel, Nicolaus & Company from St. Louis was selected because they have the best experience with school bonds and the lowest fees.
“Now is a good time to be selling bonds,” he said. “Fortunately market for tax-exempt bonds is very strong nationally despite what’s going on in Topeka.”
The bonds are an estimated $29.7 million. The interest rate is 3.177 percent, which is lower than expected, Arteberry said. It saves more than $1 million for the school district with a 14 percent savings, he said.
“Hopefully going forward, things will stabilize in Topeka, and we will meet what was told to voters,” he said.
Jeremy McFadden, director of business and finance, requested the board approve republication of the Special Education Fund for fiscal year 2015-16 from $9,204,545 to $9,955,000.
“Things may happen as the year goes along,” he said. “We are not asking for more, but to spend out of different funds.”
The original budget authority for the Special Education Fund was estimated and approved in Aug. 2015. McFadden said a main reason for the increased need for the Special Education Fund expenditures was the renegotiated transportation services contract with First Student in Feb., l.
“The route rates costs are higher than originally planned which left a neutral impact,” he said. Also, McFadden said staffing increases with certified teaching staff and para educator positions and health costs changed the need for more funding.  The “Notice of Hearing on Amending the 2015-16 Budget” will be printed in The Gardner News. A budget hearing will be conducted at the June 6 board meeting.
Greg Chapman, board member, asked McFadden if the republication will specify the move from one budget to another or just show an increase for the Special Education Budget Authority.
“It will show the increase and will not reflect accurately,” he said. “I didn’t want folks to get heartburn thinking things didn’t go as planned. This is just a formality.”
The board also approved a $50,000 bid from Commercial Floor Works to replace the carpet tile in the district offices and Gardner-Edgerton High School. Bruce Kracl, director of operations, said the buildings have the original carpet tiles from when they were built, and the new carpet tiles will fix moisture problems up to the slab.
About $17,000 in new and more custodial equipment was also approved. Kracl said most of this will go towards floor machines to enhance the cleaning, extraction of dirt and finishing of floors.