The #2 top story for 2019 was voters turning down a $190 million bond for new schools and security with a 58% “no” vote.
For 2020 we present to readers, as the #5 top story, voters approving a $170 million bond to build three new schools with a 52% “yes” vote.
What was different?
The school board lowered the amount of the bond by $20 million by taking out the school security portion of the bond. School security improvements for existing buildings will continue, but they will be funded from other sources, according to the school board.
The school board also pledged their fund balance reserve to be used to cover the contingency costs of the budget for the new buildings.
With the bond lowered by $20 million, the school board sat down with their bond advisors at Zions Public Finance.
With the combination of the school district’s increased property tax base, old bonds scheduled to be paid off, and low interest rates, the bond advisors were able to put together a payment plan for the $170 million bond that would not require a property tax increase.
While property tax for schools would not go down when the old bonds expire, property taxes would also not go up as a result of the new bond, as the new bond payments would replace old bond payments.
No “net” tax increase, was the term used to explain how a new bond would not raise taxes.
The school district’s projected construction timeframe shows new schools will be ready to open in 2022, 2024 and 2025.
The $170 million bond included $100 million for a new high school in the Overlake area behind the Home Depot store, $50 million for a new junior high school on Bates Canyon road south of Stansbury High School, and $20 million for a new elementary school in Grantsville at the intersection of Worthington and Nygreen streets.
The property for all three school sites had already been purchased.