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District Wouldn't Sell Bonds If Economy Remains Unstable

DALLAS -- In an economy that the Dallas School District described as volatile, it assured residents that passing the bond levy does not mean the bonds will have to be sold in a poor market.

DALLAS -- In an economy that the Dallas School District described as volatile, it assured residents that passing the bond levy does not mean the bonds will have to be sold in a poor market.

At the school board meeting Monday night, Dallas School District Business Manager Tami Montague provided a financial report to clear the air and restore confidence in the $79.5 million bond measure on the ballot Nov. 4.

"It has been our intent to go to the bond market in the spring of 2009 for the bond sales," Montague said. "There is no requirement when the bond passes to sell bonds. It is completely driven by what our needs are for the projects that we have going."

She said if the markets are unfavorable, the bond sales can be delayed indefinitely.

"It's not fiscally responsible to do that to our community," Montague said."

Some bond measures that have been approved, such as the Chemeketa Community College levy that passed in May, are currently waiting for the market to improve, Montague said.

The initial $2.42 per $1,000 cost was calculated on the growth of the tax base and interest rates. It would be recommended that bonds not be sold until the market became more favorable, she said.

There will be no debt service or impact on residents until the bonds are sold, Montague said, should the measure pass.

As for school district funds, Montague said the money is safe, but she is a bit concerned about liquidity, or easily being able to have the money in cash. She said she has transferred funds two weeks earlier than usual to be on the safe side and ensure money will be available for staff paychecks and other payments.

In fundraising news:

* LaCreole Middle School has raised more than $10,000 for new cafeteria tables in a magazine drive.

* Oakdale Heights Elementary has raised $2,600 to improve its library.

* Dallas High School received a $500 grant to fund testing for Top 20 Teens.

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