XCS enters into financial consulting contract

By Scott Halasz - [email protected]

XENIA — Xenia Community Schools has entered into a consulting contract with Rockmill Financial Consultants.

The board approved the contract during it’s Sept. 11 meeting, but it made two somewhat major modifications that required them sending the amended contract to Rockmill President David Conley for final approval, which was received Wednesday.

The original contract called for an up-front $39,500 annual retainer, but the school board changed that an annual fee. The board also included a clause allowing the district to be reimbursed at a pro-rated rate if the contract is terminated early.

Rockmill, which has worked with the district in the past, will serve as a general financial consultant. However Rockmill’s experience in facilities financing will be key.

The board is still trying to decide what to do about the condition of Warner Middle School and Xenia High School. Both need myriad repairs and upgrades that are necessary. It tried three times to pass a bond issue but was unable to do so, and lost the opportunity — at least for now — to receive money from the state to cover about 40 percent of the cost.

“David J. Conley has spent 30 years working with school districts in Ohio on all types of financial matters including the financing of school facilities,” School board president Pam Callahan said. “He is an expert in the Ohio School Facilities Program and in taxation. His unique expertise in these areas provides him the ability to evaluate the needs of our community and to create options to fund our needs at a lower cost to residents. While no decision has been made as to how or if the district will move forward with a building plan, contracting with Rockmill will be instrumental in providing guidance and expertise to the process.”

The district could opt to again try for a bond issue, or perhaps finance a project without state money. That’s where Rockmill could come into play.

“He did take us through our first bond issue … and he did then around and lower the interest payment,” Board member Paul Dillaplain said.

In addition to offering help with the facilities plan, Rockmill will also assist in forming a community financial task force and develop financing strategies designed to fund projects by minimizing taxes increases, among other duties.

By Scott Halasz

[email protected]

Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.

Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.