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Dist. U-46 Board ratifies variety of proposals


By Seth Hancock
  At its meeting on Monday, Nov. 5, the Board of Education in School District U-46 unanimously approved board member Sue Kerr serving as a trustee on the Illinois School District Liquid Asset Fund Plus (ISDLAFP) board.
  In October, Kerr said she had been asked last year to serve on the eight-person board, which meets four times annually. She added that she needed a resolution by the U-46 board approved in order to serve.
  U-46 CEO Tony Sanders said he and Donna Smith, the board’s president, chose Kerr for the spot on their own, without a board discussion, because she “typically has time to do maybe more daytime meetings.” Sanders said he was asked by the Illinois Association of School Boards for a candidate.
  The ISDLAFP has about 600 member school districts according to Kerr, and it was created “to help school districts invest sort of together.”
  Board member Jeanette Ward said that Kerr “agreed that she would update us concerning this periodically and also would let us know if she ever had to vote on anything.”
  Ward asked prior to the meeting if Kerr would do that, and Kerr responded that she “would be happy to provide updates and seek input from the board” and added that a “couple of things they do for school districts is provide general financial information (potential interest rate increases, market outlook, etc.)…. They also hold quarterly seminars for superintendents and school business officials on school finance related issues.”
  Also approved unanimously was a natural gas procurement proposal to secure prices for a 48-month contract with either the district’s current provider since 2014 CenterPoint Energy or Constellation New Energy/Exelon. No official prices were set at the time of the vote but it will likely cost about $3 million over the four years and will be paid for out of the operations and maintenance fund.
  The current contract with CenterPoint expires in March 2019, but U-46 sought this approval now to secure lower prices. The provider that offers the lowest price will be chosen.
  Currently, U-46 is “paying $0.335 per therm” according to the proposal for an annual cost of $871,670, but the “current, conservative rates are around $0.29 per therm” for an annual cost of $754,580. That would equate to $117,000 less per year or a 13.4 percent decrease in costs.
  The board also voted 7-0 to approve $12.8 million in itemized bills.

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