SANTA MARIA, Calif. - The Santa Maria Bonita School District is looking at another loan to pay for new schools.
Right now the district is facing other issues. The State Department of Education has asked for the district's file into an investigation of the safety of it's schools, and they have received an extension. Board member Will Smith filed a complaint that some of the district's buildings do not meet safety standards.
Now, the school district has agreed to fund a new elementary school through a special type of loan called a certificate of participation. But Smith, who also filed the safety complaint, says the district cannot afford more debt. But the school district is standing by their decision.
"We've got to think our way through this and look at other alternatives that will not put us in debt and also give us some flexibility," says Smith. "And I just think we've taken the wrong choice on this decision."
Smith says the Santa Maria Bonita School District did the wrong thing in moving forward with funding a new school that's estimated to cost $24 to $26 million. The board voted 4 to 1 in favor of using certificate of participation to fund the project.
The school district currently is paying off 3 of the same types of loans, and Smith says adding an additional loan is too risky. But at Wednesday's meeting, the school district said otherwise.
"I wouldn't be proposing this method of financing if we couldn't afford it," says Matt Beecher, assistant superintendent of business services.
Beecher spoke about the 3 current loans the school district is paying off and he says its payment history has been spotless.
"The school district has been making all of its payments for principle and interest on time based on the terms of those agreements," says Beecher.
Almost $10 million in state support for the project was in danger of being lost if the district didn't move quickly and vote for the loan.
"Being able to capitalize on almost $10 million in state money, it became the best option for our district to pursue construction."
The school has until February 7th to reach out to the state. If and once the state agrees to pitch in, construction has to begin within 90 days.
Tuesday, May 21 2013 2:06 AM EDT2013-05-21 06:06:33 GMT
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - A suspect is in custody after authoritis linked him to a shooting last Tuesday on the 800 block of North Milpas Street in Santa Barbara. Police arrested an 18-year-old gang memberMore >>
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - A suspect is in custody after authorities linked him to a shooting last Tuesday on the 800 block of North Milpas Street in Santa Barbara.More >>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 1:51 AM EDT2013-05-21 05:51:57 GMT
SANTA MARIA, Calif. -- Two people were arrested Sunday after leading San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's deputies and the California Highway Patrol on a pursuit. It started at 19th and Paso Robles streetsMore >>
SANTA MARIA, Calif. - Two people were arrested after leading San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's deputies and the California Highway Patrol on a pursuit Sunday night from Oceano to Santa Maria.More >>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 1:33 AM EDT2013-05-21 05:33:51 GMT
SANTA MARIA - It may look like a bomb but the massive tank inside the BAE 146 actually carries a payload of retardant. The turbo jet is part of the U.S. Forest Service's firefighting fleet of aircraftMore >>
BAE 200-146 turbo jet flies faster and higher with flame retardant for fast-moving wildfires. More >>