By LISA M. HOFFMANN
NORWAY - Two forums will be held for the Norway-Vulcan Area School's bond proposal, which voters will decide on Nov. 6.
If approved, the Norway-Vulcan School District bond proposal would finance improving the school’s educational technology, as well as new bleachers and a new high school gymnasium floor.
Forums are slated for Wednesday, Oct. 17, and Monday, Oct. 29, in the high school gymnasium at 6 p.m.
Both forums will include the same information.
Superintendent Louis Steigerwald said because of historically low interest rates, the district is able to sell about $2.9 million worth of bonds and keep millage rates the same.
The proposal would allow borrowing up to $3.6 million, if needed.
"This means there would be no change in the taxes assessed to property owners in order to undertake the planned improvements to our facilities," he said in his report to the board.
Steigerwald added the overall rate which districts assess in order to pay back bonds is based on property values.
"We have been fortunate that, in our area, recent property values have not seen the declines that have happened in other areas. Now that the economy seems to be recovering, it is our hope that we will not see a negative change in property values," he said.
"Should there be a fall off in property value, the district would be required to adjust rates in order to pay off the bonds at the interest rate that was promised. Current projections do not forecast such declines," he said.
The bond proposal on the ballot asks voters the following.
"Shall Norway-Vulcan Area Schools, Dickinson and Menominee Counties borrow the sum of not to exceed $3.6 million and issue its general obligation unlimited tax bonds therefore, for the purpose of partially remodeling, furnishing and refurbishing, equipping and re-equipping the Norway-Vulcan Area School; acquiring and installing educational technology for school facilities, together with related infrastructure improvements; equipping, developing and improving playgrounds; and developing and improving the site?"
Dickinson and Menominee voters should be aware the estimated millage that will be levied for the proposed bonds in 2013 is .95 mill for a zero net increase in debt millage. The maximum number of years the bonds may be outstanding is 13 years.
Steigerwald said the high school gymnasium floor will be torn out and replaced with a floating-style floor, which will provide a more favorable surface for athletes.
New bleachers will be put on both sides of the gym. There will be no gaps for items to fall through. The new bleachers will also feature lower rises in the steps to ease climbing.
Steigerwald added the new bleachers will provide more of a stadium-style feel with bleachers on both sides of the gym.
The high school chemistry lab will also be updated if the bond proposal passes.
Improvements include: building security by re-organizing main entrances, adding electronic pass-key style locks, replacement of doors which have become fatigued and latch poorly, and upgrades to internal communication systems.
"We also plan to realize cost savings to the district by updating all of the lighting throughout the building in order to install more efficient lighting which will also use significantly less electricity," Steigerwald said.
Lisa M. Hoffmann's e-mail address is email@example.com.