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Funding Options

$25,000 Bid Limit (Raising to $50,000 effective 3/15/2017)

  • New approval of SB 3 increases the competitive bidding threshold for school building and repair contracts from $25,000 to $50,000 effective 3/15/2017.

  • For most purchases, school boards are not required to use competitive bidding. However, Ohio law requires boards of education to advertise and take competitive bids for certain construction, repairs and improvements of school property and for the purchase of school buses. These procedures are designed to preserve the integrity of public contracts and are strictly construed and enforced by the courts.

  • Boards of education must solicit bids to “build, repair, enlarge, improve or demolish any school building” if the cost of the work is over $25,000 (Ohio Revised Code (RC) 3313.46). As of 3/15/2017 will be over $50,000.

House Bill 264 (HB264)

  • The School Energy Program was established in 1985 to allow school districts to make energy efficiency improvements to their buildings and use the cost savings to pay for those improvements. The program gives districts the ability to borrow funds without having to pass a ballot issue for the authority to borrow. This limited borrowing authority has given districts the ability to save millions in utility bills and operating costs, at no additional taxpayer expense. Click here for more information.

Efficiency Made Easy (EME)

  • No up-front capital required, flexible 36 to 60-month contract terms—preserve your capital budget while reducing your carbon footprint with lower usage.

  • Included in your electric or natural gas bill—maintaining the same annual utility cost with the efficiency upgrades appearing as a separate line item on your energy bill.

  • Cost savings through reduced energy consumption—load profile improvements become effective immediately upon installation of efficiency measures.

  • Ability to install energy solutions today, but delay EME payments up to 24-months—if a customer is currently under contract with another competitive power or gas supplier. Click here for more information.



Energy Loan Fund

  • Ohio Development Services Agency helps schools, small businesses, manufacturers, nonprofits, and local governments implement energy efficiency improvements to lower energy use and costs. Through the Energy Loan Fund eligible applicants receive low-interest financing to install efficiency measures that reduce energy use by 15 percent or more. Technical assistance is also available to facilitate the required energy audit for potential applicants. Click here for more information.



Sole Source Funding

  • A sole source purchase is one where there is only one vendor capable of providing an item or service, and therefore it is not possible to obtain competitive bids. The Board can determine that the products offered are available from a sole source and waive competitive bidding for the project, or permitted by Ohio Revised Code Section 3313.46 (B) (2).

Urgent Necessity

  • A board can deviate from the statutory competitive bidding procedure in cases of urgent necessity or for the security and protection of school property (RC 3313.46(A)). The statute provides no definition of “urgent necessity” or “for the security and protection of school property.” When reviewing a board’s decision to declare an urgent necessity, a court will not substitute its judgment for that of the board. However, it will examine whether the board abused its discretion or there was fraud or bad faith. To meet this exception, a board must rely on more than convenience or ordinary necessity; an urgent necessity is something that cannot wait (Anderson, Section 6.23). Examples of urgent necessity include: l replacing a roof blown off by a tornado; l repairing a boiler that breaks down in January; l hiring a contractor one week before school starts to complete a building after the original contractor defaults on the contract.

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