Hilliard Northwest News

School board settles up district finances heading into summer

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Hilliard school board members approved an agreement June 9 with Verizon Wireless to construct a communications tower near Heritage Middle School.

The tower also will be equiped to provide digital communications for the Hilliard Division of Police and the Norwich Township Fire Department.

Verizon will pay the school district $28,800 annually to lease the land.

"It's a good partnership with the city and especially the police department," said Jeff Franklin, director of business for Hilliard schools.

Franklin also reported the cost to rebuild the track at Davidson High School will be higher than first believed.

Board members approved an additional $80,000 after previously allocating $200,000 for track repairs at Davidson and Darby high schools.

"At Davidson, we found a lot of tile that had disintegrated around the track," Franklin said, requiring more backfilling with soil than anticipated.

Some of the additional cost might be offset if costs at Darby are less than expected, Franklin said.

"It's a high number, but we didn't want to have to come back again," Franklin said.

Treasurer Brian Wilson also announced the district would not replace the roof at Scioto Darby Elementary School this summer, as scheduled.

The project was estimated at $650,000, but when it was discovered multiple layers of roofing had been installed in the past, the estimate increased to about $813,000, Assistant Superintendent Tim Hamilton said.

"We will rebid it in February or March," Hamilton said.

Meanwhile, board members acted at the request of Wilson to return the revenue allocated for the project to the permanent-improvements fund to be considered for other uses.

Board members acted to refinance a series of bonds issued in 2006.

The refinancing will save the district about $1.78 million during the next 14 years, Wilson said.

"The savings means fewer mills on the next levy," Wilson said.

"This is real money," board member Paul Lambert said. "It's great you look for it (and) I appreciate you keep an eye out for it."

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