Voters in the Finneytown Local School District will vote on a bond issue on the Nov. 6 ballot.
The Finneytown board of education on July 23 approved putting a 15-year 1.98 mill levy on the ballot to raise $4.7 million for new construction, improvements, renovations and additions to school facilities and to provide furnishing, equipment for the improvements.
According to the annual certification from county auditor Dusty Rhodes, the yearly cost of the bond issue for an owner of a $100,000 home is $58.77. The purpose of the 15-year levy is to address capital projects.
“Our big-ticket items are roofs, security and paving. Also we’ll be doing some interior retrofitting of classrooms and updating windows, seats, lighting and a new roof in the Performing Arts Center,” board President Laura Horn said.
Horn said that after creating an improvement forecast, the board discussed a plan to tackle any capital projects in the next six years. After identifying the necessary upgrades and the cost, the board began work to present a bond issue to the taxpayers.
David Oliverio, board treasurer, said that the $4.7 million necessary to complete the projects was beyond the realm of the current permanent improvement levy that had an ending cash balance of $2.3 million for 2011-12.
“There are projects that can’t be ignored,” Oliverio said, adding that many classrooms in the school district have trash cans placed to catch the rain leaking from the roof. “If the bond issue doesn’t pass we will have to take money from the operating levy.”
The operating levy’s primary purpose is to operate the school and educational programs, the treasurer said, and with its cash flow should last three more years.
“We don’t want to compromise the purpose of the operating levy,” Oliverio said.
Horn said that what makes a bond issue more effective than a permanent improvement levy is the fact that school district will get all the money once the issue is passed rather than in increments over several years.
“It will allow us to do everything up front,” Horn said.
Oliverio added that if the bond issue passes, construction could begin within six months of receiving the funds.
“Our hope is that people will see this as a benefit and that they will support the bond issue in order to help improve the buildings,” Horn said.
This article was reported in the Hilltop Community Press. Click here to see the story.