The interest-free loan that the Madison Central School District is receiving through the state for its high school renovation project is the first of its kind in South Dakota. The two-point-two-million dollar loan was awarded by the state Bureau of Administration, through the State Energy Office, as part of a new program for school energy efficiency projects.
The new state program is funded with petroleum violation escrow money the state received as a result of oil overcharges that were litigated in the 1970’s, but Senator Russ Olson of Wentworth said before this new program was formed, the funds were subject to more stringent federal rules.
The loan is interest-free and the payback is ten years. By receiving the loan, Business Manager Mitchell Brooks said the school district was able to reduce the amount in capital outlay certificates that needed to be issued to help cover the construction costs on the project.
Olson said that some of the energy efficiency measures being used in the project helped them secure the loan.
Olson said the Madison Central School District is the first one to be able to take advantage of this opportunity for funding, but he hopes other districts will benefit in the future as well.
Governor Dennis Daugaard applauded the school district for its diligence in looking for efficient ways to fund the building project and implement long-term energy savings.