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School, Town Caught
In Financial Pickle

By Susan Monteleone
ELDRED — November 30, 2004 – The Eldred Central School Board recently met with Lumberland Supervisor John LiGreci in a workshop meeting to see how both can deal with the upcoming Mirant settlement.
Mirant, an energy company which owns the former Orange and Rockland Utilities hydroelectric property in Lumberland, recently won a court decision to have a reduction in taxes.
According to Eldred Supt. Ivan Katz, the district will have to pay Mirant $1.5 million. The district’s goal, he said, is to pay it off as quickly as possible but not to defeat what the district is doing as far as programs and so forth.
At the workshop meeting, the group discussed the length of time to pay the money back; a 5 percent payback up to 20 years; upcoming debts; and the fact that the Mackenzie Elementary School construction project in Glen Spey will be paid off by December 2008.
The group also discussed paying the entire amount at once or spreading it out over a number of years; combining with Lumberland and the school district to bond; shopping around for bond counsel; and checking out interest rates on 5, 10, 15, and 20 years and see what the impact would be.
School Business Manager Dan Grecco informed the board that he will be researching all of the avenues discussed and will be reporting back to the board.
Also discussed at the meeting was the possibility of the Eldred Central School District renting out the Lumberland Highway Garage, which is no longer in use.
Katz noted that an advantage in renting the garage would be that they would not have to separate the drivers, administrators, etc.
LiGreci added that the present site has six bays, a large yard, two entrances in and out and is 40 percent bigger than the current school bus garage.
He added that the facility has an outside shelter to wash and clean the buses. The garage itself has a lunch room, private office, and lavatories, needing only an aboveground lift, he said.
Katz added that the school could pay for the lift to be installed and take it off future rent prices. The school may consider closing the present fuel tanks in Eldred and purchase fuel from the Town of Lumberland.

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