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Harmony ISD Trustees

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Harmony looks to save on bond debt; selects new bank depository
By JOHN SPARKS

Meeting in regular session, Monday, May 21, the board of trustees of the Harmony Independent School District approved pursuit of a plan to refund the district's I&S bond debt and selected First National Bank (Gilmer) for the 2007-2009 biennium.

The bond refunding step has been discussed for the past three months and could result in a reduction of one or two cents in the tax rate. Bob Aiken, and independent financial consultant advise the board of the opportunity to secure a rate of 3.73 percent by rewriting the 15-year note covering past capital expenditures. The new bond program could result in a savings of approximately $30,000 per year to the district. "And, depending on how the board chooses to structure the payment schedule," Aiken said, "it could be set up to save the district approximately $60,000 per year for the first five years." The original bond issue was for 25-years and still has a 15-year payout term.

Trustee Garry Littlejohn expressed concern regarding the difficult position that fellow trustee Kelly Stretcher was placed in as president of the newly selected bank depository. Stretcher, of course recused himself from the actual vote on the selection. But, Littlejohn's concern was for on-going financial deliberations and decisions with which the board members are faced.

Superintendent Ray Miller advised the board that he had sought the review of the district's legal counsel in the matter of selection of the bank depository. "And" Miller said, "I asked representatives of Southwest Securities to review and rank the bids from competing banks." Austin Bank has served for several years as Harmony ISD's bank depository.

Elementary expected to be "Exlemplary"
Superintendent Miller said he expected the elementary school (1-3) will again achieve "Exemplary" rating and reported dramatic improvement in virtually each grade level on the TAKS math test. Math was specifically targeted by the Harmony staff last year with special programs and efforts.
The consent agenda was approved and included two steps which begin the transition to the era of newly appointed Superintendent Jed Whitaker. He was certified as Region 7 Advisory Committee representative and was designated as an authorized bank depository signature for the district. Also approved was an interlocal agreement with Region VIII for foodservice purchasing.

In personnel actions, the board accepted the letter of resignation of Valerie Hyde. Dennis Blend was hired as an administrator-likely the replacement for Whitaker as High School Principal and Veronica Austin was hired as a teacher. The next regular meeting of the Harmony Board of Trustees will be Monday, June 18. A special meeting of the board can be called with 72-hours notice.

 

 

Last Updated on Friday, 24 April 2009 16:45  

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