I want to inform the public of several steps Garfield School District has taken to save the common tax payer money. In the February 16th Board meeting the School Board approved the refinancing of a $1,615,000 general obligation school building bond. The old bond was at an interest rate of 4.625%. The new bond will be financed at approximately 2.00%. The savings to the tax payers will be up to $70,000 for residents of Garfield County. This bond will be sold on the bond market on March 15th. Any investors who are interested in purchasing the bonds could purchase the bonds on this date. This bond will be paid in full on 6/1/2015; an additional bond will be paid off 6/01/2014. With the retirement of the bonds, the residents of Garfield County will see a decrease in their current tax rate in 2014 and 2015.
The School Board also approved to move forward with a relighting project to take advantage of power incentives offered by Rocky Mountain Power. By changing the lighting structures in the PHS gym and classrooms the District will save approximately $7,376 per year. When the retrofit is complete, Panguitch High School will use 80% less electricity than they do today. The total cost of the project is estimated at $33,290 with $4,839 in incentives from Rocky Mountain Power. The final cost will be $28,450, it will take about four years to recover the cost for the project in power savings, but after four years it will be a continual savings to the District. When completed, the project will provide more lighting in the gym, classrooms and hallways. The District will continue to work towards higher efficiency savings in your schools. In the long run, this means substantial savings to the tax payers with an improved electricity quality in our schools and gymnasiums.
As an update on the staffing changes, the Board approved to release all para-educators at the end of the school year and hire back the positions on a “per student basis”. They also approved the release of three provisional teachers in the District. A provisional teacher is a teacher who has been teaching less than five years and has not been granted tenure by the School Board.
–Superintendent Ben Dalton