The Bond Steering Committee was made up of certain community members, with stated responsibilities and objectives of the committee being to “represent the entire community in the bond planning process, to review and prioritize the facility needs of FCISD”, and “to bring forward a plan to the FCISD Board of Trustees that will include recommendations as to what should be included and how much money should be requested in a May 2014 bond election.”
The bond is to be a 25 year bond and is for the building of new academic and athletic facilities and extensions, to be built on new property directly across the street from the current campus on W. Nelson St.
Committee co-chairs, John Pruski and Michelle Jaskinia, presented to the board detailed aspects of the bond process, which included intensive committee meetings in January, a detailed tour of current campus facilities, and a review of specific information provided by the district, among others.
“The meetings were very informative,” said Pruski. “We talked about a lot of different things, as you can see. We received the information that the district provided us, financial information. Along with that, one of the most impacting things that we did was tour the campus.”
“That campus tour was very enlightening,” added Jaskinia. “I’ve walked these halls hundreds of times and didn’t realize the needs and the issues that we have in this school. As a parent…it was very enlightening for myself to see what faculty and kids deal with on a day-to-day basis.”
The committee reviewed facility assessments by Huckabee Architects regarding aspects of what the campus needs are, as well as architect project concepts and cost estimates. The committee also shared the results of a community-wide survey, which showed a solid majority in favor of the building project and bond.
The board also heard a presentation by Dusty Traylor of RBC Capital Markets regarding the preliminary analysis of the tax rate impact.
Among the information provided by Traylor was the estimated impact to Falls City homeowners with various homes with homestead exemption for a 39.5 million bond.
Examples given were that of a $50,000 homeowner, with their homestead exemption, would have their property tax increase by $112.32 per year or $9.36 per month. A $100,000 homeowner, with their homestead exemption, would have a $272.77 per year increase or a $22.73 per month increase.
The bond is for a 25 year period so as to lessen the tax impact, with plans to pay off the bond well within the 25 year period.
“The reason we’re going for 25 years is because if we just went for a 10 year bond the tax impact would be that much greater,” said Superintendent Tylor Chaplin after the meeting. “We structure it for 25 years. Hopefully, we can structure it where we can call a few of those bonds all at one time to pay them off without having to raise our taxes or anything. To pay it off early is our intention.”
Chaplin explained at the meeting that district officials are to close on the land deal this week. The title work is done and the district is waiting on surveyors to finish their work so that land descriptions can be properly included in the final contracts.
A special board meeting will be held on Feb. 26 in which the board will vote to approve the calling of a bond election.
“On our last meeting on January 29, we as a committee did come together and we looked at all the details of the finances…and what the costs would be,” said Pruski as he concluded his presentation. “We came through and decided, unanimously again, to recommend to the board to move forward with a May 10 call to election for a $39.5 million bond.”