Early Childhood Development Center Focus Of Government Meetings

Oskaloosa School Board members gathered this past week to begin discussing options for a 28E agreement with the city of Oskaloosa for an early childhood development center.

Oskaloosa School Board members gathered this past week to begin discussing options for a 28E agreement with the city of Oskaloosa for an early childhood development center.

Oskaloosa, Iowa – Last year, the voters in Oskaloosa said they wanted seventy-five percent of the local option sales tax money to go to an early childhood development and recreation center.

The remaining 25% is used to maintain the roads in Oskaloosa.

Last month, the city of Oskaloosa held a work session that would help lay the groundwork for a 28E agreement with the Oskaloosa School District to help fund that project.

The school district on Tuesday night held their own work session to start the process of understanding what they are looking for from such an agreement.

For the Oskaloosa school district, the idea of ownership isn’t as appealing as a long-term lease of the facility.

The lease agreement could be set so the district pays the majority of its cost early on, and then would pay potentially $1 a year after that.

But before any money would be exchanged, there are many questions the board members are looking for answers to, but the most pressing one at this point is if the project is indeed financially feasible.

If the school put their portion of the one-cent sales tax money towards the project, there could be no adverse impact on property taxes within the district.

How the project is going to be financed, and where’s the money going to come from, and how long will it take to raise the needed funds, are the first questions the school board is tackling in moving forward with an agreement with the city.

The city of Oskaloosa is waiting on some answers from the school board as far as contribution amount and if borrowing for the amount is or isn’t on the table.

During their meetings, the city of Oskaloosa was looking at making a model framework for both organizations to use to help outline governance of the facility, operating, use, so that both organizations could synchronize the conversation more.

When the two parties agree to the essential terms of the project, they must sit down to create the 28E agreement. That document will legally bind the two entities into fulfilling their part of the project for the life of the project.

The Oskaloosa City Council will be looking to submit the minimum and maximums to getting the early childhood and development center completed.

That document would then be sent to the school district for them to review and revise, repeating the process until a master 28E agreement could be drafted.

The early stages of this discussion will allow both parties to see where the difference may be. “There will be more agreement than there will be differences,” added Oskaloosa City Manager Michael Schrock.

The city has their financing in place for the project, with the 75% of the sales tax money being devoted to the project for 20 years. Bonds would be sold based upon that sales tax revenue.

The city of Oskaloosa is figuring to spend between 10 to 11 million dollars on the project, and the Oskaloosa School Board has said they may spend up to 7.5 million for the project.

Both parties have agreed to continue the discussion to build a 28E agreement for the project.

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Posted by on Nov 30 2017. Filed under Local News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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