Thursday, February 6, 2014

News and Tribune Reports $6 Million Bond for New Albany-Floyd County Schools Slated for Vote Monday

From the Clark County News and Tribune:

The most expensive projects outlined in a multimillion dollar bond proposal have met with resistance, but New Albany-Floyd County Consolidated School Corp. administrators said they feel optimistic about its upcoming vote Monday.

After hearing the case for a $6 million general obligation bond, the district board of trustees will vote Feb. 10 whether to pursue or scrap it.

The bond is set to fund seven objectives — listed in five projects — to upgrade school facilities across the district, but line items such as artificial turf for high school football fields have flared opinions on arguments for and against them.

Brad Snyder, deputy superintendent, said he thought testimony from coaches and Floyd Central’s marching band director, Harold Yankey, provided a strong case for installing the turf at both high schools, estimated to cost $1.25 million.


But Snyder said if the district is going to pursue bonds, now may be the best time they’ll see for a while. He said with interest rates so low, they can pay off these bonds by 2017 with minimal impact to property taxes.

He said the taxes on a home in the county with an assessed value of $100,000 would pay about $3 toward the bond issuance. Homes in the city at the same value may not see a change at all because of the state property tax caps.

“We believe that it’s going to be in the neighborhood of $3 a year for a $100,000 home in the county,” Snyder said. “A large majority of the $100,000 homes in the city are already receiving a circuit breaker credit. If they’re getting that credit, this will be nothing to them.”

He also said doing this now will separate the referendum the district hopes to put to a ballot in May 2015. That $63 million proposal would pay for major upgrades to Slate Run Elementary School, the Prosser Career Education Center and Green Valley Elementary School.

But he said since the bonds from this issuance and the construction bonds still leftover from the upgrades to New Albany High School will fall off at the same time, the increase in taxes from a passed referendum would still be equal to or lower than what they will be next year.

He said the board still has room to change up the projects outlined in the $6 million bond, but they’d have to re-advertise the projects and vote on it again.

Regardless of what Monday’s vote turns out to be, he said he feels good about what administrators presented to the board.