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Public invited to hear South Tama bond financing details- tonight at Middle School

February 4, 2020
By John Speer - Editor ( , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

The location of the meeting is the South Tama Middle School cafeteria in Toledo at 201 S. Green Street, on Tues., Feb. 4, at 5 p.m. The change in location is to accommodate a larger number of community members, the announcement said.

Answers to questions about the financing of a proposed $29 million addition to house the South Tama Middle School are promised at the Tuesday, Feb. 4, school board meeting to which the public is encouraged to attend.

A news release from the Donovan Group says Travis Squiers, managing director of Piper Sandler and Co., will provide answers about the upcoming $20.8 million bond issue and related financing. The Donovan Group, is a Cedar Falls-based communications firm hired by the school board to assist in the middle school matter. Squiers is identified as a public finance expert.

Article Photos

The South Tama Middle School main entrance and the proposed location of a middle school addition to the South Tama High School south side. -News-Herald file photos

The meeting is set for 5 p.m. at the South Tama Partnership Center, 215 West 9th St., Tama (the former Intermediate / high school building.)

The school district has also posted social media notices for the meeting entitled "How is it possible a new middle school would not lead to increased property taxes?"

"In order to fund a tax-neutral solution, the board has used a creative method to fund a potential new school building," STC Superintendent said in the news release. "We understand this funding mechanism is complicated and requires some detail and context to fully comprehend. We are pleased to invite Mr. Squiers to the next board meeting to provide clarification and answer questions."

Fact Box

News-Herald ? It Out:

WHAT: South Tama School Board regular meeting with bond issue, financing questions information

WHEN: Tuesday, Feb. 4, 5 p.m.

WHERE:South Tama Middle school cafeteria - 201 S. Green, Toledo

District voters will go to the polls on Tuesday, March 3 to decide three issues:

approval is sought for a $20.8 million bond issue and an additional $8.2 million in other school funds to pay for a $29 million middle school addition to the STC High School in Tama.

permission to use a one-cent sales tax revenue (Secure and Advanced Vision for Education)

"The debt service levy is one component of the overall tax levy rate of the district, "

Earlier, Mary Boege, district business manager explained to The News-Herald the financing setup:

"Over the past few years, the district has worked hard to put itself in a stronger financial position. Having achieved these important goals, the district will be able to fund necessary operations and issue the new bonds for the project, while using a portion of the district's annual sales tax revenues to lower the debt service levy rate to keep the district's total tax levy rate stable," Boege said. "This will keep the district's property tax levy rate in the upcoming budget the same as this past year."

The SAVE fund amount totaling $5.9 million is "projected revenues to be received" according to Boege. She noted SAVE revenue has been used in the past to pay for the high school addition and property tax relief.

The amount of $2 million on hand by the district "is the result of surplus sales tax revenues collected over the past few years in anticipation of potential capital projects" Boege related.

Currently, middle school grades 6-8 and the South Tama 5th grade elementary attend classes in the Middle school in Toledo.



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