|With the county and school board budget process
finally behind us, the time has come to address the long awaited school
building plan. Commissioner Austin Shaver laid out his plan to
commission at Monday's workshop. Austin's fact sheet that he passed out
to commissioners shows that the amount of money commission has
designated to the school debt fund could fund up to $40,000,000.00 for
new schools. The exact amount of money that would be available for the
building program will depend on the interest rate at the time money is
borrowed. Austin's plan requires no property tax increase.
$41 million for 30 years @ 3% = $2,074,291.80/year
The current building program proposal from the school board totals around $47,000,000.00. But commissioner Shaver says that the 40-41 mil. number is the most the county could afford without a property tax increase. He proposes that just as the case of the budget, commission should set the amount and let the school board determine what their building priorities will be.
Not all commissioners agreed with Shaver's proposal. Commissioner Don Miller wants the school board to spend another 1.5 million dollars to take the current building plan to the bid level to determine just how much the plan will actually cost. The school board has already spent nearly a million dollars to have the plans taken to the design/development phase. This would mean the board will have spent 2.5 million dollars on plans without even knowing which projects may or may not receive final funding.
Over the last few years the school board has spent hundreds of thousand dollars on building plans that will never be used. They spent over two million dollars on a piece of land that will never be used. They have spent many hundreds of thousands of dollars to patch and prop up some of the older schools and bring in trailers to deal with overcrowding problems. Literally millions and millions of tax dollars have been spent needlessly that have solved nothing. It now appears that some on the school board and commission are ready to travel down the same tracks again. If the additional 1.5 million dollars is spent on top of the million already spent, then if commission doesn't come across with the funding for all four proposed projects, we will have another box full of plans that may never be used and hundreds of thousands of dollars thrown away.
|Commissioner Austin Shaver's Proposal
The Goal: To Build Without Raising Taxes