Local deal helps schools

Not only will all Milaca High School students have an iPad to use next fall, the funding for them, and 60 laptop computers, has come from a local source.

The Milaca School Board passed a resolution at its June 19 meeting to issue $341,520 worth of certificates of indebtedness to purchase 600 iPads and 60 laptops.

Before the vote on the resolution, district business manager Scott Nelson told board members about financing for the iPads and laptops.

He said he had checked with four companies that typically finance such deals and the lowest interest rate he had come up with was 2.19 percent.

Then he talked with Jim Neely at First National Bank in Milaca and was offered an interest rate of 1.75 percent, with no fees.

(There would have been fees with the other companies, Nelson told board members.)

“He went through his documents and found a state statute that allows school districts to use certificates of indebtedness for equipment,” Nelson said in an interview last Friday.

Nelson said the deal with First National will save the district money. But he was even happier that the deal was done locally.

“It’s a heck of a deal for us,” he said at the board meeting.
“And I’m elated we were able to do something in town. I’d much rather do it locally.”

The idea to buy the iPads and laptops was hatched during the summer of 2010 when the board met several times to formulate a five-year strategic plan for the district.

 For the full story, see the Thursday, June 28 print edition of the Times.