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.

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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.