South Tama School District voters will make their voices heard on the issuance of $20.8 million in general obligation school bonds.
A petition, bearing 324 verifiable signatures of the South Tama School District patrons, was received and the matter will be brought to the ballots on March 3.
If approved the bond issue will pay for a middle school addition to the high school in Tama and possibly some facility improvements.
In addition to the bond issue, voters will be asked if the school district can go beyond the levy limit of $2.70 per $1,000 assessed property valuation to $4.05 per $1,000 property valuation.
Both the bond issue and levy rate question require 60 percent voter approval.
A third question on the ballot seeks approval of a revised purpose statement which allows the school district to use one cent sales tax Secure an Advanced Vision for Education (SAVE) for construction. Voter approval of 50 percent is required for passage of this measure.
The addition to the high school would replace the 104-year-old middle school in Toledo and two additions to the building which were built in the 1950s.
“Throughout the process, the district and board have used an open and transparent process to fully examine the middle school’s needs and review a range of possible options,” STC Superintendent Jared Smith said.
“We believe the questions that will be presented to voters March 3 represent the best possible solution to our needs, while alos eliminating the need to raise property tax rates. We look forward to more productive conversations about the future of the STC Middle School as we move forward.”
The revenue purpose statement approved by the school board lists a wide range of possible uses for the funding.
• Acquiring or installing technological improvements for broadband digital communications, school safety and security infrastructure
• Expand, remodel, furnish, reconstruct, repair or improve school buildings and grounds
• Demolition work
• Purchase and lease-purchase of buildings and equipment including transportation and recreation equipment
• Establish public recreation places energy conservation
• Acquiring or procuring libraries
• Purchase of land for new student construction program
• Sharing or rental of facilities including a joint infrastructure project for the purposes of offering classes under a district-to-community college.
Smith told board members in December it is projected the bond issue would not result in a raise in property taxes.
Instead funds generated from local option sales tax – SAVE revenue – and on-hand school funds would pay for the bond issue school.