Board OKs easing funding freeze in California |

Board OKs easing funding freeze in California

Staff and wire report

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE ” A state board has agreed to ease the freeze on funding for infrastructure projects.

The Pooled Money Investment Board voted 3-0 Wednesday to authorize $500 million in support for a variety of projects in California. The Department of Finance will decide how to distribute the money.

The decision is contingent on the treasurer’s office being able to sell about $4 billion in state bonds next week.

The Lake Tahoe Unified School District’s matching funds were part of the frozen projects. About $15.4 million in matching funds is still owed to the district for the Green Academy, portable-replacement building, and Arts and Media Center.

District officials have continued as planned with the projects in anticipation of a state reimbursement. The LTUSD board approved the sale of no more than $31 million worth of bonds at the last LTUSD board meeting Jan. 27 in order to keep moving forward with construction projects without the matching funds. The district will receive the $30 million in bonds on March 25.

The district still plans to break ground in May on its first two construction projects, the Green Academy and the portable replacement building.

The PMI board imposed a freeze on infrastructure loans in December because of California’s budget problems. The freeze affects about 5,300 projects, ranging from classrooms to car-pool lanes, that have a total value of about $18 billion.

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