Chapter 484

2007 -- S 0961

Enacted 07/05/07

 

A N A C T

(I) AUTHORIZING THE CHARIHO REGIONAL SCHOOL DISTRICT TO ISSUE NOT TO EXCEED $26,000,000 GENERAL OBLIGATION BONDS AND/OR NOTES TO FINANCE IMPROVEMENTS TO THE SWITCH ROAD CAMPUS INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE CONSTRUCTION, RENOVATION, IMPROVEMENT, DEMOLITION, ALTERATION, REPAIR, FURNISHING AND EQUIPPING OF NEW CONSTRUCTION AND ADDITIONS TO THE HIGH SCHOOL, THE MIDDLE SCHOOL, THE RYSE SCHOOL, A MAINTENANCE FACILITY, A RUNNING TRACK, PARKING, PAVING AND LANDSCAPING AND (II) AMENDING THE CHARIHO REGIONAL SCHOOL DISTRICT ENABLING ACT TO PROVIDE THAT THE PRINCIPAL OF, REDEMPTION PREMIUM AND INTEREST ON BONDS AND NOTES ISSUED FOR THESE PROJECTS WILL BE BORNE BY THE MEMBER TOWNS IN EQUAL AMOUNTS, WITH EACH MEMBER TOWN PAYING ONE-THIRD

          

     Introduced By: Senators Breene, and Algiere

     Date Introduced: May 01, 2007

 

It is enacted by the General Assembly as follows:

 

     SECTION 1. The regional school district incorporated pursuant to Chapter 55 of the

Public Laws of 1958, as amended, known as the Chariho Regional School District, is hereby

empowered, in addition to authority previously granted, to issue general obligation bonds and

notes to an amount not exceeding twenty-six million dollars ($26,000,000) from time to time

under its corporate name and seal. The bonds of each issue may be issued in the form of serial

bonds or term bonds, zero coupon bonds, capital appreciation bonds, or compound interest bonds

or a combination thereof and shall be payable either by maturity of principal in the case of serial

bonds or by mandatory serial redemption in the case of term bonds, in annual installments of

principal, the first installment to be not later than five (5) years and the last installment not later

than thirty (30) years after the date of the bonds. The amount of principal appreciation each year

on any bonds, after the date of original issuance, shall not be considered to be principal

indebtedness for the purposes of any constitutional or statutory debt limit or any other limitation.

The appreciation of principal after the date of original issue shall be considered interest. Only the

original principal amount shall be counted in determining the principal amount so issued and any

interest component shall be disregarded.

     SECTION 2. The bonds shall be signed by the district treasurer and the chairperson of the

regional school district committee and shall be issued and sold in such amounts as the regional

school district committee may authorize. The manner of sale, denominations, maturities, interest

rates and other terms, conditions and details of any bonds or notes issued under this act may be

fixed by the proceedings of the regional school district committee authorizing the issue or by

separate resolution of the regional school district committee or, to the extent provisions for these

matters are not so made, they may be fixed by the officers authorized to sign the bonds or notes.

The proceeds derived from the sale of the bonds shall be delivered to the treasurer of the regional

school district committee, and such proceeds, exclusive of premiums and accrued interest, shall

be expended (a) to finance improvements to the Switch Road Campus including, but not limited

to the construction, renovation, improvement, demolition, alteration, repair, furnishing and

equipping of new construction and additions to the high school, the middle school, the RYSE

School, a maintenance facility, a running track, parking, paving and landscaping, (b) in payment

of the principal of and/or interest on temporary notes issued under section three, (c) in repayment

of advances made pursuant to section four, (d) in payment of costs of issuance associated with the

issuance of bonds or notes hereunder, and/or (e) to finance capitalized interest. No purchaser of

any bonds or notes under this act shall be in any way responsible for the proper application of the

proceeds derived from the sale thereof. The proceeds of bonds or notes issued under this act, any

applicable federal or state assistance and the other moneys referred to in section six and nine,

shall be deemed appropriated for the purpose of this act without further action than that required

by this act. This bond issue authorized by this act may be consolidated for the purpose of issuance

and sale with any other bond issue of the regional school district heretofore or hereafter

authorized, provided that, notwithstanding any such consolidation, the proceeds from the sale of

the bonds authorized by this act shall be expended for the purposes set forth above. The district

treasurer and the chairperson of the regional school district committee, on behalf of the regional

school district, are hereby authorized to execute such instruments, documents or other papers as

either of them deem necessary or desirable to carry out the intent of this act and are also

authorized to take all actions and execute all documents or agreements necessary to comply with

federal tax securities laws, which documents or agreements may have a term coextensive with the

maturity of the bonds authorized hereby, including Rule 15c2-12 of the Securities and Exchange

Commission and to execute and deliver a continuing disclosure agreement or certificate in

connection with the bonds or notes.

     SECTION 3. The regional school district committee may by resolution authorize the

issue from time to time of interest bearing or discounted notes in anticipation of the issue of

bonds or in anticipation of the receipt of federal or state aid for the purposes of this act. The

amount of original notes issued in anticipation of bonds may not exceed the amount of bonds

which may be issued under this act and the amount of original notes issued in anticipation of

federal or state aid may not exceed the amount of available federal or state aid as estimated by the

treasurer of the regional school district. Temporary notes issued hereunder shall be signed by the

district treasurer and the chairperson of the regional school district committee and shall be

payable within five (5) years from their respective dates, but the principal of and interest on notes

issued of a shorter period may be renewed or paid from time to time by the issue of other notes

hereunder, provided the period from the date of an original note to the maturity of any note issued

to renew or pay the same debt or the interest thereon shall not exceed five (5) years. Any

temporary notes in anticipation of bonds issued under this section may be refunded prior to the

maturity of the notes by the issuance of additional temporary notes, provided that no such

refunding shall result in any amount of such temporary notes outstanding at any one time in

excess of two hundred percent (200%) of the amount of bonds which may be issued under this

act, and provided further that if the issuance of any such refunding notes results in any amount of

such temporary notes outstanding at any one time in excess of the amount of bonds which may be

issued under this act, the proceeds of such refunding notes shall be deposited in a separate fund

established with the bank which is paying agent for the notes being refunded. Pending their use to

pay the notes begin refunded, moneys in the fund shall be invested for the benefit of the regional

school district by the paying agent at the direction of the treasurer of the regional school district

in any investment permitted under section five. The moneys in the fund and any investments held

as a part of the fund shall be held in trust and shall be applied by the paying agent solely to the

payment or prepayment of the principal of and interest on the notes being refunded. Upon

payment of all principal of and interest on the notes, any excess moneys in the fund shall be

distributed to the regional school district committee. The regional school district committee may

pay the principal of and interest on notes in full from sources other than the issuance of refunding

notes prior to the issuance of bonds pursuant to Section 1 hereof. In such case, the regional school

district committee's authority to issue bonds or notes in anticipation of bonds under this act shall

continue provided that 1) the regional school district committee passes a resolution evidencing

the regional school district committee's intent to pay off the notes without extinguishing the

authority to issue bonds or notes and 2) that the period from the date of an original note to the

maturity date of any other note shall not exceed five (5) years.

     SECTION 4. Pending any authorization or issue of bonds hereunder or pending or in lieu

of any authorization or issue of notes hereunder, the treasurer of the regional school district, with

the approval of the regional school district committee, may, to the extent that bonds or notes may

be issued hereunder, apply funds in the treasury of the regional school district committee to the

purposes specified in section two, such advances to be repaid without interest from the proceeds

of bonds or notes subsequently issued or from the proceeds of applicable federal or state

assistance or from other available funds.

     SECTION 5. Any proceeds of bonds or notes issued hereunder or of any applicable

federal or state assistance, pending their expenditure, may be deposited or invested by the

treasurer of the regional school district in demand deposits, time deposits or savings deposits in

banks which are members of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or in obligations issued

or guaranteed by the United States of America or by any agency or instrumentality thereof

("Government Obligations") or as may be provided in any other applicable law of the state of

Rhode Island or resolution of the regional school district committee or pursuant to an investment

policy of the regional school district committee. Any bank deposits or investments, other than

investments in Government Obligations, must either be directly insured by the Federal Deposit

Insurance Corporation or be collateralized by Government Obligations which have a value equal

to or greater than 102% of the deposit or investment amount.

     SECTION 6. Any accrued interest received upon the sale of bonds or notes hereunder

shall be applied to the payment of the first interest due thereon. Any premiums arising from the

sale of bonds or notes hereunder shall, in the discretion of the treasurer of the regional school

district, be applied to the cost of preparing, issuing and marketing bonds or notes hereunder to the

extent not otherwise provided, to the payment of the cost of the Projects, to the payment of the

principal of or interest on bonds or notes issued hereunder or to any one or more of the foregoing.

The cost of preparing, issuing and marketing bonds or notes issued hereunder may also, in the

discretion of the treasurer of the regional school district, be met from bond or note proceeds

exclusive of accrued interest or from other moneys available therefor. If, upon completion of any

of the Projects there shall be any balance of bond or note proceeds remaining not required for the

payment of the costs of such Project, such funds shall be applied to the payment of the principal

of or interest on bonds or notes issued hereunder. To the extent permitted by applicable federal

laws, any earnings or net profit realized from the deposit or investment of funds hereunder may,

upon receipt, be added to and dealt with as part of the revenues of the regional school district

from the member towns. In exercising any discretion under this section, the treasurer shall be

governed by any instructions adopted by resolution of the regional school district committee.

     SECTION 7. All bonds and notes issued under this act and the debts evidenced thereby

shall be obligatory on the regional school district committee in the same manner and to the same

extent as other debts are obligatory under the laws of this state on incorporated towns of this state

and such debt evidenced by said bonds or notes shall not be construed at any time to form a part

of the debt of any individual town which is a member of the regional school district for the

purpose of ascertaining the borrowing capacity of such town, nor shall said debt contracted by the

regional school district in any way apply to the operation of section 45-12-2 of the general laws,

as amended, with respect to any member town. The regional school district shall annually

appropriate a sum sufficient to pay the principal and interest coming due within the year on bonds

and notes issued hereunder until such bonds and notes and the interest thereon are paid in full.

     SECTION 8. Any bonds or notes issued under the provisions of this act, if properly

executed by officers of the regional school district in office on the date of execution, shall be

valid and binding according to their terms notwithstanding that before the delivery thereof and

payment therefor any or all of such officers shall for any reason have ceased to hold office.

     SECTION 9. The regional school district, acting by resolution of its regional school

district committee, is authorized to apply for, contract for and expend any federal or state

advances or other grants or assistance which may be available for the purposes of this act, and

any such expenditures may be in addition to other moneys provided in this act. To the extent of

any inconsistency between any law of this state and any applicable federal law or regulation, the

latter shall prevail. Federal and state advances, with interest where applicable, whether contracted

for prior to or after the effective date of this act, may be repaid as Project costs under section two.

     SECTION 10. Bonds and notes may be issued under this act without obtaining the

approval of any governmental agency or the taking of any proceedings or the happening of any

conditions except as specifically required by this act for such issue. In carrying out any Project

financed in whole or in part under this act, including where applicable the condemnation of any

land or interest in land, and in the levy and collection of assessments or other charges permitted

by law on account of any such Project, all action shall be taken which is necessary to meet

constitutional requirements whether or not such action is otherwise required by statute; but the

validity of bonds and notes issued hereunder shall in now way depend upon the validity or

occurrence of such action.

     SECTION 11. All or any portion of the authority to issue bonds and notes under this act

may be extinguished by resolution of the regional school district committee, without further

action by the general assembly, seven (7) years after the effective date of this act.

     SECTION 12. Section 15 of Chapter 55 of the Public Laws of 1958, as amended,

including amendments made by Chapter 490 of the Public Laws of 2006, is amended to read as

follows:

     SECTION 15. (1) It shall be the duty of the district superintendent, or chief

administrative officer to present to the regional school committee a preliminary budget containing

his estimates if the amount of money needed to operate the regional school for the ensuing year.

The form of said budget shall conform to the accounting system of the state department of

education.

     (2) The regional school committee shall prepare and approve a proposed budget which it

believes will efficiently operate the regional school district for the ensuing year not later than the

fifteenth (15th) day of February in each year.

     (3) Not later than the third (3rd) Tuesday in March in each year, and subsequent to the

public hearing at the annual regional school district meeting on the proposed budget, the district

school committee shall adopt a final proposed budget. The regional school district finance

committee, established in accordance with the provisions of section 12 hereof, may by and

through its individual members or by appointed delegates attend budget hearings and provide

advice and assistance to the school committee on budget matters.

     (3)(A) Within thirty (30) days after the school committee adopts its final proposed budget

for the ensuing year, a budget approval referendum must be held in each of the member towns on

a single day to be determined by the regional school committee. The vote at referendum shall be

for the purpose of approving or rejecting the overall total district budget as proposed by the

regional school committee, and for approving or rejecting any special warrant items proposed by

the regional school committee. The votes cast in all of the member towns shall be counted in the

aggregate. The regional school committee shall provide to the canvassers of each of the member

towns printed information to be displayed at polling places to assist voters in voting. The budget

approval referendum ballot to be voted on must be substantially as follows:

     "Shall the Chariho Regional School District annual budget for the school year as adopted

by the regional school committee be approved?

      ___________________Yes

      ___________________ No"

     A majority of all of the votes cast in the member towns at the budget approval

referendum counted in the aggregate, shall be required to approve the annual regional school

district budget proposed by the regional school committee. If the voters do not approve the budget

proposed by the regional school committee at the budget approval referendum vote, the regional

school committee shall hold a school committee meeting within fifteen (15) days after the

referendum to adopt a revised budget in such an amount as the school committee shall determine

to be the minimum amount necessary to allow the regional school district to operate for the

ensuing fiscal year in compliance with its contractual obligations and the mandates of applicable

federal and state laws. Any revised budget adopted at the subsequent school committee meeting

must thereafter be submitted within thirty (30) days to the voters for approval at referendum in

accordance with this section. This process shall be repeated until a budget is adopted by the

regional school committee and approved by the voters at referendum. If, however, a budget is not

adopted by the regional school committee and approved by the voters before July 1 of each year,

then the regional school committee shall operate the regional school district in accordance with

the provisions of section 16-2-23 of the general laws, and the member towns shall make payments

to the regional school district, based upon the amounts appropriated for the support of the schools

by the member towns in the preceding fiscal year; provided, however, that the right of the

regional school committee to take all actions it deems necessary under the provisions of section

16-2-21.4 of the general laws shall in all events remain in full force and effect at all times and

shall not be impaired or restricted in any respect by any of the provisions of this act. Any

referendum held with respect to an annual school budget under this act shall be considered in the

nature of a local financial meeting and shall not be subject to the provisions of title 17 of the

general laws.

     (4) Operating costs shall include all costs of the said school district not included in the

construction costs paid out of the receipts and realizations of the sale of bonds or notes as

hereinbefore provided.

     (5) Operating expenses for each fiscal year or portion thereof shall be apportioned among

the member towns in proportion to the relationship of their respective pupil enrollment in the said

district school system on October 1 of the previous calendar year to the total pupil enrollment in

said school system on said date. In the event that enrollment in the said district school system has

not been accomplished on October 1 of any year, operating expenses for the ensuing year or

portion thereof shall be apportioned among the member towns in proportion to the ratio that the

total number of students enrolled in grades kindergarten through twelve (12), inclusive, residing

in each of said towns and receiving education at such town's expense as of said October 1 bears to

the total number of such students in the entire district.

     (6) Within ten (10) days after the date at which the annual regional school district budget

is approved by referendum each year, the treasurer of the regional school district shall determine

the total cost of operating the school district for the next budget year, including therein operating

costs, operating expenses, and all other anticipated expenses, incurred in the operation of the

school district. This sum shall then be divided by the number of students enrolled in the school

district as of October 1 of the current school year and the resulting figure shall then be determined

as the annual pupil charge. The charge so determined shall forthwith be certified by said district

treasurer to the respective treasurers of each member town. Each member town shall then pay to

the treasurer of the district a sum equal to the number of pupils enrolled in the district from the

town multiplied by the annual pupil charge.

     (7) Construction costs of the regional school district shall be all costs of retirement of

principal or payment of interest of bonds or notes hereinbefore authorized or which may be by

special act authorized for future construction within the said district, or such costs as may be

financed by means other than the issue of bonds or notes for the purpose of construction or

renovation of buildings, land acquisition, or extraordinary repairs to buildings, and all other costs

and expenses of the district shall be operating costs. In each year subsequent to the passage of this

act, construction costs shall be bone by each member town in the same proportion as the

enrollment of students from that town bears to the total student enrollment of the district. The

district treasurer annually shall determine the share of each member town of construction costs by

dividing the construction costs for the current year of operation by the number of pupils enrolled

in the district on October 1 of the current school year. The district treasurer shall then certify to

the treasurer of the member towns the shares of each town of construction costs determined as

hereinbefore provided at the same time and in the same manner as operating costs are certified to

each town. Notwithstanding the foregoing three sentences, the principal of, redemption premium

and interest on the bonds and/or notes in an amount not to exceed twenty-six million dollars

($26,000,000) authorized by an act passed at the 2007 session of the general assembly shall be

borne by the member towns in equal amounts, with each member town paying one-third of the

costs.

     (8) The amount of construction costs certified by the treasurer of said school district to

the town treasurers of the member towns shall for the purpose of section 45-12-11 of the general

laws, be deemed an indebtedness of the town or interest thereon for which a member town may

assess its ratable property in any one (1) year in excess of three and one-half percent (3%) of its

ratable value.

     (9) The treasurer of each member town shall forward monthly to the regional school

district treasurer the proportioned operating and construction costs for that fiscal year.

     (10) The regional school district fiscal year shall begin on July 1 and end on June 30.

     (11) The superintendent of schools of said district shall certify to the commissioner of

education on or before July 15 of each year such information as may be needful for the operation

of this agreement and conformity to the laws of this state in such form and upon such blanks as

the commissioner of education shall require.

     (12) The electors in each of said member towns qualified to vote upon a proposition to

impose a tax or for the expenditure of money shall in their respective towns, in annual or special

financial town meetings legally assembled, appropriate and raise sufficient monies for their

respective towns to meet the requirements of the costs of construction and operation of said

regional school as determined by the said district annual meeting and proportioned to the said

member towns as provided in subsections (6) and (7) of this section.

     SECTION 13. The question of the approval of this act shall be submitted to the electors

of the towns of Charlestown, Richmond and Hopkinton at an election (other than a primary

election) to be held on a date to be set by the regional school district committee. The question

shall be submitted in substantially the following form: "Shall an act passed at the 2007 session of

the general assembly, entitled 'AN ACT (I) AUTHORIZING THE CHARIHO REGIONAL

SCHOOL DISTRICT TO ISSUE NOT TO EXCEED $26,000,000 GENERAL OBLIGATION

BONDS AND/OR NOTES TO FINANCE IMPROVEMENTS TO THE SWITCH ROAD

CAMPUS INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE CONSTRUCTION, RENOVATION,

IMPROVEMENT, DEMOLITION, ALTERATION, REPAIR, FURNISHING AND

EQUIPPING OF NEW CONSTRUCTION AND ADDITIONS TO THE HIGH SCHOOL, THE

MIDDLE SCHOOL, THE RYSE SCHOOL, A MAINTENANCE FACILITY, A RUNNING

TRACK, PARKING, PAVING AND LANDSCAPING AND (II) AMENDING THE CHARIHO

REGIONAL SCHOOL DISTRICT ENABLING ACT TO PROVIDE THAT THE PRINCIPAL

OF, REDEMPTION PREMIUM, AND INTEREST ON BONDS AND NOTES ISSUED FOR

THESE PROJECTS WILL BE BORNE BY THE MEMBER TOWNS IN EQUAL AMOUNTS,

WITH EACH MEMBER TOWN PAYING ONE-THIRD' be approved?" The warning for the

election shall contain the question to be submitted. From the time the election is warned and until

it is held, it shall be the duty of the town clerks of the respective towns of Charlestown,

Richmond and Hopkinton to keep a copy of the act available at their offices for public inspection,

but the validity of the election shall not be affected by this requirement. To the extent of any

inconsistency between this act and the home rule charter of any member town, this act shall

prevail.

     SECTION 14. Sections 13 and 14 shall take effect upon the passage of this act. The

remainder of this act shall take effect upon the approval of this act by a majority in each town of

those voting on the question at the election prescribed by the foregoing section.

     

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LC02963

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