By TRAVIS MORSE firstname.lastname@example.org
---- — MT. VERNON — District 80 has accepted a bid of $50,001 to sell the now vacant Benjamin Franklin Early Childhood Center to Antioch International Assembly.
The Antioch group currently operates a church on South Ninth Street in Mt. Vernon. They submitted the only bid for purchasing the Franklin building.
Superintendent Mike Green announced the bid at Wednesday night's meeting of the District 80 Board of Education. The board then approved the bid after a brief discussion.
“We're pleased that Antioch International Assembly got the bid and we feel like it'll be beneficial to the community,” Green said. “It was the intent and hope of the board that the bidder would use (the building) to benefit the community and I believe it will.”
The Franklin building is located at the corner of Sixth Street and Harrison Street.
Classes have not been held there since May. Recently, the district's pre-school program was moved out of the Franklin site to the Dr. Andy Hall Early Education Center.
Last month, district officials decided to move forward with selling the Franklin building. The minimum bid the district would have accepted was $35,000.
Green said revenue from the sale will go into the district's general fund.
Representatives of Antioch were not present at Wednesday's board meeting. However, Green said the group will likely use the Franklin building for “church activities.”
According to the group's website, Antioch International Assembly was founded in November 2000 by “the Apostle Timothy Brinson and his wife and co-founder, Pastor Kelly Brinson.”
The final agreement for selling the Franklin building will likely be approved at the December District 80 Board meeting.
Also on Wednesday, the board approved a resolution seeking a tax levy increase of 7.6322 percent for fiscal year 2013-2014.
Tax caps prevent the district from collecting more than a 5 percent increase. However, districts commonly ask for more revenue than they will receive to ensure they capture all the new construction dollars they can, Green said.
Merle Hollmann, chairman of the District 80 Finance Committee, said local taxpayers should not see an increase of more than 1.7 percent on the district's portion of their tax bill, due to the levy restrictions in place.
“The only reason we're raising it to 8 percent is to capture the new construction,” Hollmann said.
Other District 80 Board actions Wednesday included:
n Hearing of a principal's report on the Casey Middle School and an update on the Head Start program.
n Discussion of recent parent-teacher conferences held by the district.
n Recognition of District 80 Business Manager Nancy Herzing, who recently passed a test from the Association of School Business Officials to become a certified administrator of school finance and operations.
n Discussion of state reimbursements. Green informed the board the state still owes the district $723,734.
n Approval of a resolution authorizing the transfer of $80,000 from the district's working cash fund to the debt service fund.