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Friday, May 6, 2016

More project options heard by School Board

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

It is decision time for the Clay Community Schools School Board.

The board held a work session Wednesday night at North Clay Middle School to discuss and review several different options for a renovation plan for the corporation facilities.

Tom Neff of Schmidt Associates reviewed a phased proposal that was asked for by the board after community concerns over a larger proposal.

Neff presented a cost breakdown for all seven elementary schools and the security plans for 10 school buildings.

The proposal broke construction and bonding into two phases, the first a $19 million project to work on Eastside, Meridian, Forest Park and Staunton Elementary Schools and upgrade all of the schools' security.

The second phase would consist of renovations to Van Buren, Jackson Township and Clay City Elementary Schools, and would cost $8.6 million when inflation is taken into consideration.

Damien Maggos of City Financial gave the board several choices for financing such a project, in comparison to a full renovation project and a three-phase project.

A corporation-wide renovation project, which was initially presented, would need $53 million in bonds and would take 20 years to pay off. $83,135,000 would be the total amount paid, including interest.

A three-phase project, with improvements to the two high schools, North Clay Middle School and the administrative and transportation buildings in the third phase, would cost $70.7 million in bonds and take 21 years to pay off. The corporation would pay almost $88 million back, when interest and inflation are taken into account.

If a two-phase project is bonded together, $26 million will be bonded for and paid over eight and a half years, with a total repayment of $31 million dollars.

If the two phases are bonded separately, $28 million would need to be bonded for the same amount of time, and $31.5 million dollars would be paid in the end.

Part of the discussion about how to finance a project is new legislation going into effect stating all school projects would need to be passed by a county tax board.

If phase one is bonded in 2008, but not phase two or even a phase three, the county tax board would need to approve phases two and three.

It is possible the remaining phases of the project would not get approval.

The board discussed the project options, and the importance of cost, flexibility, timing and community approval to their decision.

Board President Terry Barr asked the board members for their thoughts on where the project should go.

Board members Ted Jackson, Steve Grigsby, Brian Atkinson and Len Fischer voiced favor for the two-phase project, indicating they would like to ensure some renovation be done rather than risk community action against a larger project.

Jim Guy asserted he is for the entire project and cannot understand how people would trade flexibility for a higher project cost. Guy said he would support whatever the board decided.

Barr and Dottie King expressed disappointment with the willingness to approve a smaller project because of pressure, and reiterated their support for doing a full project.

The board will have 12 days to mull over the information presented, and will reconvene Jan. 28, at 6 p.m., in North Clay to select and approve a proposal to be given at a 10-28 public hearing.

Currently, the 10-28 hearing, a state-mandated meeting needed to move forward with a building project, is scheduled for Feb. 18, at 6 p.m., in North Clay.


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It appears the School Board is paying attention to the tax payers of Clay County.

Phased projects will be easier to control and allow for future flexability should the need of the community change.

By bonding for less than 10 years the Board was able to find a interest rate of about 3.75% instead of the 5.5% they originally posted in the paper back in August.

It was also announced at the meeting that the 4.3 million dollar bus garage/Maintance facility can be done now for less than 1 million dollars. Quite a savings thanks to Tom Reberger looking for a less expensive alternative, Thanks Tom.

A big thanks to all of the citizens who took the time to come to the meetings and voice their thoughts. To those citizens who contacted the Board members to let them know how they felt. And especially to all of the Coffee Drinkers at Hardees and other dining facilities that kept the talk up about the renovation/building project and what was happening.

As Taxpayers in Clay County you do have a voice that is listened to.

-- Posted by TaxPayer2 on Wed, Jan 16, 2008, at 11:22 PM

Good job, assuming a 5% inflation rate over the next 20 years, assuming a interest rate the same as it was last week, and assuming there will not be any additional needs in the high schools for the next 8 1/2 years. If those things would, by some miracle hold true, the phased projects will only cost 4.5 million more than doing them all now. I fail to see the wisdom of phasing, but the threats to stop the project did succeed.

-- Posted by faraway on Thu, Jan 17, 2008, at 9:58 PM

It is a sad state for Clay County when retired businessmen and farmers, who are a minority of taxpayers, can still influence local government and schools. As long as the citizens continue to blindly follow and not get involved the community will continue its downward spiral. Gentlemen take a good look around you..This is not the same county that it was before you retired. Where are all of the businesses you "USED" to own?...They are all abandonded and there is nothing to replace them....including the taxbase that they generated.........

Thanks again Hardee's Crew.....How will we survive the winter while most of you flew South for the winter?......

-- Posted by studentsfirst on Fri, Jan 18, 2008, at 5:41 AM


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