123B.59 Alternative facilities bonding and levy program.
Subdivision 1. To qualify. (a) An independent or special school district qualifies to participate in the alternative facilities bonding and levy program if the district has:
(1) more than 66 students per grade;
(2) over 1,850,000 square feet of space and the average age of building space is 15 years or older or over 1,500,000 square feet and the average age of building space is 35 years or older;
(3) insufficient funds from projected health and safety revenue and capital facilities revenue to meet the requirements for deferred maintenance, to make accessibility improvements, or to make fire, safety, or health repairs; and
(4) a ten-year facility plan approved by the commissioner according to subdivision 2.
(b) An independent or special school district not eligible to participate in the alternative facilities bonding and levy program under paragraph (a) qualifies for limited participation in the program if the district has:
(1) one or more health and safety projects with an estimated cost of $500,000 or more per site that would qualify for health and safety revenue except for the project size limitation in section 123B.57, subdivision 1, paragraph (b); and
(2) insufficient funds from capital facilities revenue to fund those projects.
Subd. 2. Facility plan. (a) A district qualifying under subdivision 1, paragraph (a), must have a ten-year facility plan approved by the commissioner that includes an inventory of projects and costs that would be eligible for:
(1) health and safety revenue, without restriction as to project size;
(2) disabled access levy; and
(3) deferred capital expenditures and maintenance projects necessary to prevent further erosion of facilities.
(b) A district qualifying under subdivision 1, paragraph (b), must have a five-year plan approved by the commissioner that includes an inventory of projects and costs for health and safety projects with an estimated cost of $500,000 or more per site that would qualify for health and safety revenue except for the project size limitation in section 123B.57, subdivision 1, paragraph (b).
(c) The school district must:
(1) annually update the plans;
(2) biennially submit a facility maintenance plan; and
(3) indicate whether the district will issue bonds to finance the plan or levy for the costs.
Subd. 3. Bond authorization. (a) A school district may issue general obligation bonds under this section to finance facilities plans approved by its board and the commissioner. Chapter 475, except sections 475.58 and 475.59, must be complied with. The district may levy under subdivision 5 for the debt service revenue. The authority to issue bonds under this section is in addition to any bonding authority authorized by this chapter, or other law. The amount of bonding authority authorized under this section must be disregarded in calculating the bonding or net debt limits of this chapter, or any other law other than section 475.53, subdivision 4.
(b) At least 20 days before the earliest of solicitation of bids, the issuance of bonds, or the final certification of levies under subdivision 5, the district must publish notice of the intended projects, the amount of the bond issue, the total amount of district indebtedness, and the commissioner's review and comment, if applicable.
Subd. 3a. Levy authorization. (a) A school district may levy under this section to finance the portion of facilities plans approved by its board and the commissioner that are not financed through bond issues according to subdivision 3.
(b) At least 20 days before a final district certification of levies under subdivision 5, the district must publish notice of the intended projects, including the total estimated project cost, and the commissioner's review and comment, if applicable.
Subd. 4. Levy prohibited for capital projects. A district that participates in the alternative facilities bonding and levy program is not eligible to levy and cannot receive aid under sections 123B.57 and 123B.58 for any capital projects funded under this section. A district may levy and receive aid for health and safety environmental management costs and health and safety regulatory, hazard assessment, record keeping, and maintenance programs as defined in section 123A.443, subdivision 2, and approved by the commissioner.
Subd. 5. Levy authorized. A district may levy for costs related to an approved facility plan as follows:
(a) if the district has indicated to the commissioner that bonds will be issued, the district may levy for the principal and interest payments on outstanding bonds issued according to subdivision 3 after reduction for any alternative facilities aid receivable under subdivision 6; or
(b) if the district has indicated to the commissioner that the plan will be funded through levy, the district may levy according to the schedule approved in the plan after reduction for any alternative facilities aid receivable under subdivision 6.
Subd. 6. Alternative facilities aid. A district's alternative facilities aid is the amount equal to the district's annual debt service costs, provided that the amount does not exceed the amount certified to be levied for those purposes for taxes payable in 1997, or for a district that made a levy under subdivision 5, paragraph (b), the lesser of the district's annual levy amount, or one-sixth of the amount of levy that it certified for that purpose for taxes payable in 1998.
Subd. 7. Alternative facilities appropriation. (a) An amount not to exceed $19,700,000 for fiscal year 2000 and $20,000,000 for fiscal year 2001 and each year thereafter is appropriated from the general fund to the commissioner of education for payment of alternative facilities aid under subdivision 6.
(b) The appropriation in paragraph (a) must be reduced by the amount of any money specifically appropriated for the same purpose in any year from any state fund.
Subd. 8. Separate account. A district must establish a separate account under the uniform financial accounting and reporting standards (UFARS) for this program. If the district's levy exceeds the necessary interest and principal payments and noncapital health and safety costs, the district must reserve the revenue to replace future bonding authority, prepay bonds authorized under this program, or make payments on principal and interest.
HIST: 1993 c 224 art 5 s 3; 1996 c 412 art 5 s 1; 1997 c 231 art 1 s 1-3; 1Sp1997 c 5 s 38-41; 1998 c 389 art 2 s 1-3; 1998 c 397 art 7 s 35,164; art 11 s 3; 1999 c 241 art 4 s 8,29; 2000 c 464 art 3 s 9; 2000 c 489 art 5 s 19,27; 1Sp2001 c 6 art 4 s 6; 2003 c 130 s 12; 1Sp2003 c 9 art 4 s 8-12; 1Sp2003 c 23 s 17; 1Sp2005 c 5 art 4 s 5,6