March 2019

Facilities Study

Our Facility Study Committee continues the work with OPN Architects on a thorough assessment of our existing facilities and projected needs into the future. The committee, administration, and school board are in the process of developing a prioritized list of what facility needs should be addressed within the boundaries of what funds may be available.

While this work is really in the early stages, it is not too soon to begin thinking about what a new bond referendum could mean for all of us within the district. Understanding that this article is not about what a project would physically look like, today we will focus on the taxing implications. It is our hope that you have felt the gradual decrease in the school tax rate since we reached $18.87 in 2014. From the graphic below, we see the gradual decrease to the $13.78 of 2019. Our early projections for 2020 would lead us to believe the rate will be just a little over $13.00 for next year. Throughout this period of decrease, we have been able to aggressively pay down the principal on the 2007 General Obligation bond, resulting in a savings of $395,978 in interest. This is allowing us to pay off the 2007 bond seven years early. We thank you for supporting our board and administration in this process.

This aggressive approach also gives us the opportunity to consider a new General Obligation bond that could begin in 2021. It is possible to do this in what we call a relatively tax neutral scenario. Essentially, we could approve a new GO bond and achieve a tax rate very near the rate that will be set in April for 2020. In doing so, the total funds available for facility projects would be approximately $7.2 million.

In the meantime, the Facility Study Committee, OPN, administration, and school board will keep working on narrowing the focus of our priorities. If the identified priorities exceed the taxing scenario described above, additional information will be shared in detail. We expect to be scheduling informational sessions for the Alburnett CSD community in late March and throughout April and May. Your questions are always helpful, so please do not hesitate to let us know what you are thinking.

Dani Trimble