By Nicole Minier
CHURUBUSCO — After a lengthy discussion in March, Smith-Green Community Schools’ Board of Trustees decided to take out a $2 million bond to overcome budget shortfalls and complete needed projects.
The board held a special meeting after having two regular meetings in a row where discussions went on past 10 p.m.
SGCS administrators proposed a $600,000 bond to help the school overcome a $115,000 shortage in the General Fund and complete several building projects.
The board didn’t entertain the $600,000 bond idea, rather discussed two options:
• Spend no money on capital projects in 2017 and utilize money in savings to overcome the General Fund shortfall.
• Take out a $2 million bond to take care of the budget issues and allow the school to complete several projects.
Board members on both sides of the discussion indicated they may be looking for something to get by until a General Fund referendum could be proposed to the public in 2018.
After much discussion, Nick Uecker made a motion to freeze all extra spending for 2017.
Uecker’s motion failed to receive a second, and the board further discussed their options.
Luke Gross made a motion to take out a $2 million bond — which was also followed by silence.
“Are we going to ask for another proposal in April or wait for a new superintendent?” asked Dean Geiger, board president.
Cathy Petrie said she didn’t like the idea of using the schools’ cash reserve, but she also didn’t like raising taxes before proposing a referendum.
“What kind of message are we sending if we can’t make a decision on what we’re going to do?” Gross asked.
Geiger, who couldn’t second Gross’ motion, said he would be in favor of the $2 million bond so SGCS could complete the projects planned for 2017.
Petrie seconded Gross’ motion for the $2 million bond. New board member Jeremy Hart abstained from the vote, which passed 3-1.