CRYSTAL FALLS - The Forest Park School District has succeeded in placing a school improvement bond proposal on the ballot for Tuesday's election.
The bond proposal would generate additional funds for the school district so it can proceed with building and site projects that it could otherwise not afford. General funds continue to decline each year due to declining student enrollment, inequitable state aid formulas, and rising utility and fuel costs.
The proposal will be for one year beyond the nine years remaining on the original 20 year bond proposal used to pay for the new elementary and middle school building back in 1997. If the proposal passes, the millage will continue until 2018 instead of 2017.
"This millage will not increase current taxes, but only extend them for one year," Forest Park Superintendent Tom Jayne explained.
Although the proposal seeks to add 0.45 mills to the current 3.00 mills over each of the next ten years, the millage rates will actually decline over time due to increased property taxes and a refinancing in 2005. This refinance reduced the current millage debt by $466,000. As a result, property owners will not pay more than a 2.85 millage rate in each of the next ten years.
The school would use the funds generated by the extra millage in numerous ways. Energy efficient projects include replacing the existing 22 exterior windows in the high school, replacing the heat tubes and hot water heater, and installing light sensors in high volume traffic areas that will turn lights off after 15 minutes of no activity.
- Tuesday, Aug. 5
- 0.45 mills
- Forest Park
There are also plans to add security cameras, a keyless entry system, new handicap accessible football field bleachers, and removing an existing tennis court to make more room for the elementary playground.
Officials also would like to replace the 20-year-old carpet in the main high school halls, refurbish the 38-year-old high school lockers, and construct a storage facility for the outdoor sports equipment.
If money permits, the school would also refurbish the outside physical education and athletic practice field which is currently uneven, hard, and dry.
School officials claim that a safer school and playing area will promote a positive community image and that the school will save money by being energy efficient.
All the proposed projects will be completed by the beginning of the 2009-2010 school year if the bond proposal passes.
Nikki Younk's email address is firstname.lastname@example.org