Minden Press-Herald

Oct 01st

QSCB loans will stimulate improvements

The first of two $3 million loans is on its way to being spent by the Webster Parish School Board. The loans are Qualified School Construction Bonds (QSCB), which are part of a federal stimulus package that began in 2009.

"School boards can use the loan to fund capital improvement projects at little or no cost," New Orleans bond attorney Grant Schleuter said. "You can use it for any capital project, equipment and so forth, except for two things — you can't buy land that you aren't going to build a school on and you can't buy stand-alone equipment."

In 2009 the board sold the bonds to Capital One Bank for a one percent supplemental interest rate.

"The advantage of this transaction is the net effect is as if it were a zero percent loan," Schleuter said.

QSCB funds can only be used in districts with maintenance taxes, because the funds generated from the maintenance taxes will be used to repay the QSCB loan.

Districts with maintenance taxes qualified to use the first issue of stimulus bonds include Minden, Springhill and Sarepta.

"Doyline has one (maintenance tax) but can't use it be cause they are in the process of restructuring," WPSB Business and Finance Director Crevonne Odom said. "Consolidated District 3 did not qualify at the time of the first bond issue, but it will qualify for the second issue."

The board approved the second QSCB issue in April, for the same terms as approved in 2009.

Schools that received funding from QSCB and how much the schools received are as follows:

Brown Upper – $104,754.44

Browning – $102,544.46

Harper – $198,615.85

Jones – $176,249.37

Webster Parish Achievement Center – $125,801.06

Richardson – $170,045.75

Stewart – $32,371.04

Administration – $307,391.80

More than $1.5 million from the first bond issue is still available to spend.






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