Residents asked some enlightening questions at the Randolph County Schools bond proposal meeting at Beverly Elementary School Thursday evening.
One audience member asked about the differences between a levy and the bond proposal. She said voters believed when the Randolph County school bond levy passed in 2010, monies from the levy would cover all of the school system's expenses.
"When I spoke with the people prior to the levy vote, they indicated they wanted money from the levy to go for instructional needs," said Dr. James Phares, superintendent of Randolph County Schools.
The Inter-Mountain photo by Beth Christian Broschart
Randolph County Schools bond call committee chairman Bob Dunkerly speaks with residents during the Beverly Elementary School meeting Thursday evening.
"The levy was for $2.8 million: $1 million went to maintenance, $1 million went to instructional costs and $800,000 was spent for technology."
Phares said the levy costs are spread over five years. The bond call will be spread over 15 years and will use $13 million dollars to leverage $22 million for needed repairs, renovations and additions for the community based schools.
If the bond call passes, the School Building Authority will pay $9 million toward the proposed renovations and additions.
The bond call and the SBA money are contingent on one another.
This discussion prompted another question from the audience, which was if the levy and bond increase taxes, will the taxes decrease as the levy and bond are paid in full.
"If the levy is not renewed in 2015-2016, the amount of that tax should drop," Phares said.
"Another thing to consider is we are advertising the bond at the highest possible rate of 6.8 percent when estimating the cost to the taxpayer.
"Right now the rate on bonds is running three to four percent, which would make the cost less expensive."
"The tax calculator available on www.informationonthebondcall.com only figures taxes for the following tax year," Phares said. "In a year where the levy is not renewed the tax should be less."
The proposed renovations and additions to Beverly Elementary School include an exterior drainage system, interior finishes, HVAC, lighting, wiring, fire alarm, communications system, sprinkler system, asbestos abatement and a new cafeteria/kitchen.
The estimated cost for the project is $3,232,714. A total of $2,063,664 is slated to come from the bond call, with $1,169,050 from the SBA.
The final Randolph County Schools bond call information meeting is slated for 6:30 p.m. Oct. 10 at Elkins High School.
Contact Beth Christian Broschart by email at email@example.com.