The Millcreek Township School District has just over a month to find a way to balance their $8.8 million deficit, and pass a preliminary budget.
Acting Superintendent William Hall has talked about closing schools, raising taxes and cutting back on faculty and staff, and at the finance meeting on Monday, another option was laid on the table for the board. One that came from PNC Bank.
"They're talking about debt service and giving us some options in maybe restructuring our debt service so maybe we could have some help with this budget moving forward this year and for the next 3, 5, 10 years," said Hall.
By doing this, the district would have an additional six years to pay back their debt, allowing them to have nearly two million dollars extra each year, they could put towards the budget.
And they could do that for this year.
"It'll work for us moving forward in our planning, with what we're planning right now," said Hall. "So essentially, I'm counting that as two million if that's the direction the board wants to go."
Parents of Ridgefield and Vernondale students, also like this new idea of restructuring the debt service. Especially after receiving calls and getting a notification on the district's website about public hearing, regarding potential school closures.
"We were pleased with the fact they're looking at restructuring financially, refinancing the bond," said Nadine Clement, a Ridgefield parent. "That looks to save two million a year for the next eight years, sounds like a good business move to me."
"I find it proactive that they're looking for money other than closing schools," said Genene Mattern, a Vernondale parent. "It's still up in the air on what'd they actually use if for, but the money is definitely there to help with the budget deficit we currently have."
That public hearing to discuss possibly closing Vernondale and Ridgefield is set for May 8th.