DeKalb schools to reduce debt

By Lisa Daigle

The DeKalb School Board, with a $2.2 million debt, submitted budget projections through 1992 that would return the school district’s finances in the black.

“We’ll be in the black for the first time in many, many years,” School Superintendent Jack Deere said Wednesday at a special meeting with the DeKalb City Council.

The school board projects a debt reduction of $918,763 for fiscal year 1990, which is above the suggested state debt reduction of $829,795.

“We have done, I feel, a good job in bringing down our (school district) debt,” through budget reductions supplemented with a state-wide tax increase, Deere said. “The school district has been under a great deal of stress for many, many years,” he said.

School board officials outlined plans for the Sales and Property Tax Increment Financing (TIF) District funds for constructural improvements and educational projects.

The TIF District funds allow the city to specifically target an area of the community for redevelopment.

TIF funds could be used for improvements on Clinton Rosette Middle School, projected at $1 million. A proposed graphic arts lab for Kishwaukee Community College and DeKalb High School was projected at $200,000.

A possible combined effort with the city council and the school district to construct an Administration Center was projected at $1.2 million.

The school board also proposed a bond issuance of more than $1.5 million to cover the construction costs. A proposed 10 year bond with 7.5 percent interest would yield a $220,000 per year debt service, and a total of $2.2 million in principle and interest.

Considering possible growth, the school board brought up the possibility of reopening a school building or constructing additions to existing schools.

City government and school board officials will determine how TIF funds will be distributed between the two bodies in the coming weeks.

The TIF District is between the Kishwaukee River and DeKalb Taylor Municipal Airport, extending north along Sycamore Road.