CHAMPAIGN – The Champaign school board on Monday approved schematic designs for four elementary school renovations.
The projects will cost about $24.5 million combined, architect Stuart Brodsky of Cannon Design told the board.
The district has about $23.7 million budgeted for the project, but Chief Operating Officer Gene Logas told the board he's not worried about the deficit.
The renovation budget includes about $1 million for contingencies, he said, and the district may not have to use all of it.
The school district may also sell some property and use that money toward renovations, or spend less than the $2.7 million it's set aside for property for a new high school or facility. That $2.7 million figure is for planning purposes, Logas wrote in a memo to the board.
In other business Monday, Village of Savoy Manager Dick Helton spoke to the board about the village's proposal to move about five properties, about 5 acres, from one tax increment financing district and turn them into a second district.
The area is where a new CVS, McDonald's and an undisclosed grocery store are planned, at the southwest corner of Curtis Road and U.S. 45, also known as Dunlap Avenue in Savoy.
"To make it a successful project, we felt the best opportunity for that to succeed was to make (the second district)," Helton said.
Tax increment financing districts matter to taxing bodies likes school districts because they affect property taxes.
The school district receives property taxes based on the assessed valuation of the properties when they become a part of a tax increment financing district. Property taxes above those base amounts, as properties go up in value, are set aside and spent within the tax increment financing district until it expires. A tax increment financing district lasts 23 years, although that time can be extended.
When the five properties entered Savoy's original tax increment financing district in 1999, they were assessed at $427,000. They were assessed at $708,000 in 2010, a memo from Helton in the school board's packet said. In 23 years, the developed site is expected to be assessed at around $5 million, Helton's memo said.
If the properties move into a new tax increment financing district, the district will for 23 years collect property taxes based on the 2010 assessed value, rather than the 1999 assessed value it receives now because the properties are in an existing tax increment financing district.
Helton told the school board it's a purely retail commercial development, and is expected to generate $7 million in sales. That would amount to $70,000 in sales tax for local schools' capital improvements through the county's 1 percent sales tax.
The village would use the money generated in the tax increment financing district to improve traffic flow in that area.
Helton's presence was purely informational, so the board took no action.
The board also approved the district's tax levy for next school year. The district will levy for about $76.3 million and expects to receive about $75.3 million.