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  • March 06, 2014
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Trustees move ahead with plans for bond issue, stadium renovations

BY ROBERT MORALES

CCAISD trustees on Monday considered and took action on four items relating to building construction.

First, trustees approved the engagement of Estrada Hinojosa & Company to serve as financial advisor for the district. Superintendent Marc Puig made the recommendation based upon what he called the firm’s "extreme responsiveness” to customer service and the district’s needs.

Hinojosa will handle one of two transactions: a lease-purchase agreement or maintenance tax notes. Mr. Puig said the firm does not receive payment unless the notes are sold. For example, a $5 or $6 million note would net the firm between $35,000 and $40,000.

Next, trustees approved Bracewell & Guiliani LLP to represent the district on the legal aspect of a potential bond issue. Again, Mr. Puig cited the law firm’s attentiveness and responsiveness to CCAISD. He added that the stadium renovation and construction project could possibly be financed through maintenance tax notes; however, it would require an opinion from the attorney general’s office.

The stadium project is essentially a "hybrid” project, said Mr. Puig, because it entails both new construction and renovation. The attorney general would make a determination based upon renovation to an existing school facility and not new construction. Once Bracewell & Guiliani submit the district’s proposal to the attorney general’s office, an opinion would be rendered in about two weeks.

Mr. Puig said that the maintenance tax note route would be "cheaper, faster and better.” If the opinion from the attorney general is positive, the district can immediately issue a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) and proceed according to the district’s timeline. On the other hand, if the answer is no, then the district must form what is called a public facilities corporation.

If the response from the attorney general is positive, the district can begin spending local funds and trustees would then approve a resolution that would allow the district to be reimbursed through the sale of maintenance tax notes.

In terms of cost, the maintenance tax note option, if approved, would cost the district about $15,000. A lease-purchase transaction would cost about $50,000. Mr. Puig said the lease-purchase proposal is not only more expensive, but would drag out the timeline. He said another possible method for the district would be time warrants to procure financing.

In other action, trustees approved a contract with ASA Architects.

Finally, two trustee seats will expire this year: Duane Corrales and Dion Corralez. Duane Corrales is running for re-election, but Dion Corralez is not seeking re-election. Two other persons have filed for trustee: Letty Hernandez and Sandy Urias.