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Germantown considers debt for GMSD capital needs

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The Germantown Financial Advisory Commission met on Aug. 20 to consider a proposal to fund capital improvements at Germantown Municipal School facilities.
The proposed projects will require approximately $12 million in general obligation bonds in addition to capital dollars already approved in the 2016 fiscal year budget. The proposal was unanimously approved by commission members.
The total debt issue amount is approximately $15 million and will not require a tax increase. Because school districts are not eligible to issue debt, the responsibility falls to the city.
However, a plan is in place for Germantown Municipal School District to reimburse the City for approximately $5 million of the $12 million designated for schools.
The money will be used for priority projects identified by GMSD including eliminating portables and expanding classroom space at Riverdale Elementary and adding a multi-purpose athletic facility at Houston High School.
The issuance also includes $3.5 million for city drainage and road improvement projects.
“We have worked hard to develop a fiscally responsible capital budget that meets GMSD’s immediate requirements,” said City Administrator Patrick Lawton.
“This is an outstanding example of cooperation between Germantown’s BMA and School Board and clearly demonstrates our commitment to quality public education in our community,” added Mayor Mike Palazzolo.
Approval by the FAC is the first step in the approval process for issuing the general obligation bonds.
The Germantown Board of Mayor and Aldermen will consider amending the budget to include the additional debt.
The process requires three readings and includes a public hearing, tentatively scheduled for Oct. 12, during the regularly scheduled meeting of the Germantown BMA.
Meetings begin at 6 p.m. in the Council Chambers at Germantown City Hall.