1.1 200 OK Date: Fri, 28 Nov 2014 23:59:54 GMT Server: Apache/2.2.17 (Unix) mod_ssl/2.2.17 OpenSSL/0.9.8i DAV/2 mod_auth_passthrough/2.1 mod_bwlimited/1.4 FrontPage/ mod_fcgid/2.3.5 X-Powered-By: PHP/5.2.17 Transfer-Encoding: chunked Content-Type: text/html Proposal to borrow money to help reduce state pension system debts goes nowhere - Daily Journal

The Salem-Keizer School District could borrow $51.5 million and use profits from investments to reduce its annual pension contributions.

School Board members are scheduled to vote Tuesday on a resolution that would allow the district to issue pension obligation bonds.

Under the resolution, district officials would only borrow money if they can issue the bonds at a maximum interest rate of 5.25 percent.

The bonds are expected to be sold in mid-January, according to the district.

I see it as a good investment as far as being able to increase the amount of revenue we would have available for the budget, said Rick Kimball, chairman of the Salem-Keizer School Board.

Metra is expected to approve a fare hike and budget plan Friday that will mark the first time in the agencys 30-year history that it will borrow money.

The proposal includes a nearly 11 percent fare increase, and part of that revenue will be used to pay for $100 million worth of bonds the agency would sell to help buy and repair locomotives and coaches as well as maintain bridges, tracks and other infrastructure.

Transportation and public finance experts say its about time Metra embarked on the borrowing route.

Metras always been a live-within-your-means railroad, and their means have been very miserly, said Steve Schlickman, director of the Urban Transportation Center at the University of Illinois Chicago. This has come back to haunt Metra when it got into the 21st century.

The Hatboro-Horsham school board passed a resolution Monday night to borrow money for a new Hallowell Elementary School and refinance old debt to take advantage of low interest rates and an improved bond rating.

Robert Reichert, the district's business manager, said the borrowing would be done in two phases for Hallowell, expected to cost just over $30 million.