The Board of Education would like to clarify the following regarding the recent Working Cash Bond proposal for up to 3.3 million dollars:
- The proposed Working Cash Bond was designated to be used solely for the purpose of long-term maintenance and repairs for the building, not for other needs. These types of non-referendum bonds are utilized routinely by many schools and government bodies to maintain financial stability and to spread costs to taxpayers over many years instead of being a larger amount in a single year.
- The Board of Education has been purposeful in its proposal of this bond. As the school makes the final payment on the Construction Bond that was utilized to build the high school, taxpayers will see a significant decrease in the high school’s portion of their property taxes. The Board of Education proposed the new Working Cash Bond at a time when there will be a decrease in levied taxes, and had hoped to combine this decrease with the proposed new bond to lessen any negative impact. The overall end result would be that the community would have still seen a significant overall net decrease in taxes.
The Board communicated information regarding the Working Cash Bond to the wider school district community during the proposal process via radio interviews, newspaper articles, direct emails and other electronic messaging, and at an in-person public hearing held at the high school. The primary piece of feedback received as a result of these efforts to inform the community has been the concern over the timing of a new bond in relation to the current national situation related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has resulted in job uncertainty and insecurity, anxiety about the state of the economy, financial challenges for our families, and general uncertainty about the economic future. These concerns have been communicated by individuals that both support the bond proposal and those not currently in favor of its passage. The Board of Education recognizes this and truly appreciates the communication from the community, and is sensitive to the challenges that families have shared with the Board during these unprecedented times.
The Board of Education also recognizes from the feedback it has obtained, that while there may not be not enough support for a working cash bond at this time, there is community support for continued long-term maintenance and repair planning to keep the building safe, secure, and mechanically functioning for the foreseeable future. Knowing this, the Board will continue to focus on securing funding for long-term maintenance and repair needs, and will explore other funding methods. However, as time goes on and repairs become more and more critical, a bond or other similar community-based funding method may become essential in order to maintain a safe and functional high school building for our students.
Based on the feedback received from the community, I am recommending not to proceed at this time with the Working Cash Bond proposal for up to 3.3 million dollars at this time.
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