Silvis schools again awaiting state funds


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Posted Online: Feb. 15, 2013, 5:32 pm
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By Eric Timmons, etimmons@qconline.com
A $1.5 million construction grant the state promised to the Silvis School District has been put on hold after the state decided last month not to proceed with a $500 million bond sale.

The bond sale to fund school and transit projects was postponed in late January, days after ratings agency Standard & Poor's cut the state's credit rating. The downgrade likely would have driven up the cost of issuing bonds.

Standard & Poor's pointed to the state's ongoing difficulties sorting out the huge unfunded pension liability in its decision to cut the state's credit rating to A minus with a "negative" outlook

Silvis school superintendent Ray Bergles said the $1.5 million construction grant was to be funded through the postponed bond sale.

He said state officials informed the district that a new bond sale may be attempted in March or April, but in the meantime, the district has been forced to dip into reserves to pay construction contractors.

"It's putting us in a real cash flow problem," Mr. Bergles said.

The grant is part of $15 million the state has agreed to provide the district to fund construction of a new junior high school, which now is open. The project also includes renovations to the old junior high school, which will start to house elementary school students in April.

The money first was awarded in 2002, and so far, about $9 million has arrived, Mr. Bergles said. The district submits requests for funding as the construction project progresses.

Over the summer, more costs will be incurred as part of the district's old elementary school is torn down.

State Sen. Mike Jacobs, D-East Moline, said it was time for the state to "man up" and pay the district the money promised a decade ago.

"If the state was never going to live up to its promise of construction dollars, why approve the project and give the people of my district false hope," Sen. Jacobs said. "The state made an agreement, and needs to come through on that agreement now."

Gov. Quinn's office could not be reached for comment by press time.

















 




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  Today is Tuesday, Sept 2, the 245th day of 2014. There are 120 days left in the year.

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1889 — 125 years ago: Alderman Frank Ill, Winslow Howard and Captain J.M. Montgomery returned from Milwaukee, where they attended the national Grand Army of the Republic encampment.
1914 — 100 years ago: Three members of the Rock Island YMCA accepted positions as physical directors of other associations. Albert Cook went to Kewanee, C.D. Curtis to Canton and Willis Woods to Leavenworth, Kan.
1939 — 75 years ago: Former President Herbert Hoover appealed for national support of President F.D. Roosevelt and Congress in every effort to keep the United States out of war.
1964 — 50 years ago: The Rock Island Junior chamber pf Commerce has received answers to about 65 % of the 600 questionnaires mailed out recently in a "Community Attitude Survey" to analyze sentiments of citizens towards their city's various recreational, educational, and civic service programs.
1989 — 25 years ago: The two thunderstorms passing through the Quad Cities last night and early today left some area residents reaching for their flashlights.






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